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Bonnefanten Presents Extensive Solo Exhibition by David Lynch

30 November, 2018

David Lynch in his studio, 2018, photo Michael Barile

From 30 November, the Bonnefantenmuseum is presenting the extensive retrospective Someone is in my House, by the American artist David Lynch.

Although David Lynch is undoubtedly a pivotal figure in the international film and TV world, his work as a visual artist is not nearly as well-known.

This is strange, to say the least, as David Lynch has always stressed that he sees himself primarily as a visual artist; a visual artist who came into contact with the medium of film during his studies at the art academy by chance.

This encounter formed the basis for his career as film director. Alongside his work as a director, Lynch has always remained active as a visual artist and in recent decades has created a vast oeuvre of paintings, drawings, lithos, photos, lamp sculptures, music and installations. Up to now, this oeuvre has seldom been exhibited in museums.

The Bonnefantenmuseum is not only presenting the first museum exhibition of Lynch’s visual art in the Netherlands, but also the largest retrospective ever, comprising over 500 works by the artist.

David Lynch
The artist in his studio.

David Lynch, visual artist
Although the work of Lynch (1946, Missoula, Montana, US) might suggest otherwise, filled as it is with dark violence and sexuality, the artist and filmmaker’s childhood was a happy and loving one.

Lynch’s parents loved to travel, so he led a nomadic life from an early age, which for him was an idyllic and safe environment. Encouraged from an early age to be creative – colouring books were forbidden in favour of using his own imagination – he ended up studying painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, in Philadelphia.

There, Lynch developed his artistic vocabulary and themes that would recur throughout his future work. It also paved the way to his first mixed media installation with stop-motion film, Six Men Getting Sick (Six Times) (1967), which formed the prelude to his first feature film Eraserhead (1977). The rest is (film) history, and nowadays Lynch’s films are modern classics.

Lynch’s artistry runs like a thread through his life and his films. Throughout his fifty-year career, he has continued to draw and paint, even when his work as a film director meant there was little time to spend in his studio.

“I miss painting when I’m not painting”, says Lynch in the recent biography Room to Dream.*

In collaboration with David Lynch, the Bonnefantenmuseum is presenting an impressive retrospective of Lynch’s multifaceted artistry.

The exhibition includes paintings, photos, drawings, lithos and watercolours spanning the sixties to the present, unique drawings on matchbooks from the seventies, sketchbooks from the sixties, seventies and eighties, black and white photos from various periods, including the famous Snow Men photo series (1993), cartoons from the series The Angriest Dog in the World (1982-1993), audio works and some short films from 1968-2015.

And for the first time since its creation in 1967, the all-decisive academy work Six Men Getting Sick (Six Times) will be shown in a museum exhibition.

Exhibition teaser 

In the run-up to his extensive retrospective Someone is in my House, Lynch has produced a unique exhibition teaser for the museum. In this typically Lynchian short film, which stars Lynch himself alongside the ‘White Monkey’ (a character who previously appeared in Lynch’s Weird daily weather report), he invites the viewer to come to the Bonnefantenmuseum. You can watch the teaser here.

Fringe programme 
In collaboration with the Lumière Cinema in Maastricht and the EYE Film Museum in Amsterdam, there will be a special focus on the complete film oeuvre of David Lynch during the exhibition period, and a Lynch film programme will be rolled out across the Netherlands. The orchestra philharmonie zuidnederland has worked with the Polish composer Marek Zebrowski on the composition and performance of Music for David. Zebrowski composed the piece Music for David for string quartet in 2015, as a tribute to Lynch, who in turn created the short animation film Pożar (Fire), set to Zebrowski’s composition. There will be several live performances of the piece of music in the exhibition room, to accompany the film.

* David Lynch and Kristine McKenna. Room to Dream. Edinburgh, Canongate Books, 2018, p. 301

David Lynch in his studio, 2018, photo Michael Barile
David Lynch in his studio, 2018, photo Michael Barile


30 November, 2018
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