In between gestures and raw material 

by Emiel van der Pol

The works by Dutch artist Gijs van Lith playfully distort our expectations and fundamental understanding of what a painting can or should be. He takes the ideas offered by action painting, abstract expressionism and tachism to their utmost conclusion and searches for a painting that consists of nothing more than gestures and raw material. This connects him to a line of artists who embrace a fundamental emptiness of meaning in their work without a sense of post-modern irony.

Gijs van Lith’s works are carefully conceived stacking’s of manical-mechanical applications of paint on a surface. Their starting point is often some kind of grid-like system, ranging from chicken-wire to the way a digital image is structured. But above all, his works burst at the seams from the sheer joy of painting they seem to convey.

Welcome To The Thunderdome, solo exhibition at Torch Gallery, Amsterdam, 2016

Gijs  van Lith sees chance, agency and temporality as the driving forces behind his work. If a piece goes unsold after an exhibition, it will return to the studio to be scraped clean, painted over and sanded until holes appear in the canvas and the piece can no longer support itself. His studio isn’t just a place of origin, its the natural habitat of his work. Here it can be seen in its most honest (and instable) state; as part of an on-going process. He tries to translate this idea to the context of a gallery through very large transparent plastic bubbles, which he paints from the inside out. These monumental balloon-sculptures become metaphors for the microcosm of the studio. Here, the broader universe of the artist is made concrete in the act of applying paint on a surface.

Gijs van Lith
Untitled No. 31 - 50 x37,5cm, 2016.

Gijs van Lith
Born in 1984

2011 / 2013 MFA Master of fine art, St. Joost, ’s-Hertogenbosch, NL
2004 / 2008 AKV St. Joost, Autonome Beeldende kunst, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, NL

Solo exhibitions
2016 Welcome To The Thunderdome, Torch Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
2015 Hardly Anything Sticks Anymore, Galerie Majke Hüsstege, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, NL
2014 Like My first love I can’t get you outta my head, RH Contemporary Art, New York, NY, USA 2014 Engine room / Wiggle room, Punt WG, Art space, Amsterdam, NL
2011 Gijs van Lith, Galerie Majke Hüsstege, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, NL
2011 The last three years, APG headquarters, Amsterdam, NL
2011 ‘PAINT!’, Galerie Bart, Amsterdam, NL
2010 Thieme Art Talent Award, Art Amsterdam, RAI, Amsterdam, NL
2009 Gijs van Lith, Galerie Bart, Amsterdam, NL

Group exhibitions (Selection)
2017 TBA, Torch Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
2017 TBA Kunsthal Rotterdam,Rotterdam, NL
2017 New Amsterdam, Marisa Newman Projects, New York, NY, USA
2017 Attitudes in Painting, Hunted Projects, Lepsien Art Foudation, Dusseldorf, DE 2017 Orakel der Abstracten, Majke Husstege Projects, MPV, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, NL
2016 Art Miami, Torch Gallery, Miami, Florida, USA
2016 The End, Lets Start Again, Donau83, Art Space, Berlin, DE 2016 Contemporary Visions VI, BEERS London Gallery, London, UK 2016 This Art Fair, Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam, NL
2016 Impossibile, Spacio Bianco, Art Space, Torino, IT
2016 Amsterdam Art Fair, Torch Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
2016 Got It For Cheap Vol.5, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2016 Got It For Cheap Vol.4, Agnes B Galerie Dejour, Paris, Fr
2015 Art Rotterdam, Art Fair, Majke Hüsstege, Rotterdam, NL
2015 Amusing ourselves to death, Galerie Frank Taal, Rotterdam, NL 2015 Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, Den Haag, NL 2015 20 years of deferred value, Nieuwe Vide, Art space, Haarlem, NL 2015 Reboot, Willem II Fabriek, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, NL
2015 Heavy metal, Grafisch Atelier, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, NL
2015 HYPERHYPER, Willem II Fabriek, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, NL
2014 De Hommage: Daar komen de putters, na Fabritius, Museum Keukenhof, Lisse, NL 2014 Texas Contemporary, RH Contemporary Art, Houston, Texas, USA
2014 The Gaverprijs 2014, De schakel, Waregem, BE
2014 Fast Food & Slow Art, VORTplatform, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, NL
2013 Traces, SM-‘s Stedelijk Museum ‘s-Hertogenbosch, NL
2013 Still Life, Museum de Pont, Tilburg, NL
2013 PAN Amsterdam, Galerie Majke Husstege, Amsterdam, NL
2013 The Static Is Also Electric, MFA Graduations show, Service Garage, Amsterdam, NL
2012 Point du Vue, 200 Avans, SM-‘s Stedelijk museum ‘s-Hertogenbosch, NL 2012 Young Guns, Galerie Majke Hüsstege, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, NL