Erik van Lieshout's large-scale drawing takes as its reference news images of demonstrations that occurred in August 2014 in Schilderswijk, a working-class district of The Hague, in the Netherlands. Groups with a variety of ideological viewpoints clashed; pro-ISIS demonstrators faced off with Dutch skinheads, as well as antinationalists and anti-jihadists, in a series of events that embarrassed the Hague mayor and marked the rising tensions over extremism in Europe. Van Lieshout channels the menacing force and energy of the protests, without clearly indicating who is marching against whom. The artist augments sharp, expressive lines with cutouts of bright commercial vinyl and slabs of acrylic paint that both electrify and fracture the surface, heightening the sense of fury depicted in the image.
Gallery label from Unfinished Conversations, March 19-July 30, 2017.