In the late sixties, Pieter Laurens Mol (*1946 in Breda, Netherlands) embarked on a unique artistic career producing conceptual works in a variety of media: photography, painting, drawing, sculpture and installation. A substantial part
of his early photographic oeuvre, dating from the seventies and eighties, consists of images with the inclusion of a
self-staging artist. During the nineties the human figure gradually disappears from the scenery and there’s a shift noticeable to more known traditional genres such as landscape and still life, yet these images could equally be experienced asmetaphorically charged statements on the “condition humaine”. The photographs deal also with significant concepts such as “falling”, “loss” or the romantic topos of “searching”. Failure, both heroic and comical, characterises many of his works. As Mol himself says, art is about the quest to find pictures for an “extreme existence”. His “artistic life” represents such an existence, one which he invites the viewer to share, although the artist’s life is nothing but an image of man’s “creative life” per se. This creative life is based on physical (or other, higher) principles, which his works explore and poeticise. In doing so, the artist seems to rely on making use of the Surrealist method of combining as he develops his so-called “photo sculptures” that often refer to non-representability or rather the impossibility of depicting reality in pictures: words and images belong to separate systems of perception which always only refer, as substitutes or replacements, to a reality they themselves cannot embody (Magritte, 1967).

In general, the artist’s photographic aim is not to represent reality but rather to visualise ideas. Mol investigates the semantic conditions of pictorial projection, ironically playing with emotional projections in line with Bas Jan Ader’s “Romantic conceptualism” (Jörg Heiser).

With a light twinkle in his eye, Mol is thus able to address the tension between performance or staging and the drama
of great feelings. Sounding out the limits between the artistic and the everyday object, he also brings into play how museums, galleries and art critics define their aesthetic position. The classic contrast between Romantic inwardness and conceptual rationality can thus be seen to run through Mol’s works.

Pieter Laurens Mol is not interested in an art that sees itself simply as a platform for staging one’s own artistic subjectivity. On the contrary, he is devoted to looking at and reawakening the familiar – and doing so within art’s sheltered realm, in which the smallest adjustment can influence how life, the world and our own position in the great scheme of things are assumed.

Text: Birgit Kulmer.




Born: October 26, 1946, Breda (NL)

1959-1963 : Carpentry Training, Bisschoppelijke Nijverheidsschool, Voorhout (NL)

1963-1965 : Art Academy St.Joost, Department of Photography, Breda (NL)

Currently lives and works in Brussels (BE)




SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS



2016
Wiegezang (voor Vincent), Vincent van Goghhuis, Zundert (NL)
Forty-Five Feathers fallen on a Field, Galerie Parrotta Contemporary Art, Stuttgart (BE)

2015
Passage Souterrain (Portraits of the Artist and His Family), Farideh Cadot Associés, Paris (FR)
Zucht zocht Zicht (Herinneringen aan Vincent), Galerie Nouvelles Images, The Hague (NL)

2014
Farideh Cadot Associés, Paris (FR)

2013
Dust That Never Sets, Galerie Triangle Bleu, Stavelot (BE)
Interest Generator, De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam (NL)

2011
The Flyby, Galerie Nouvelles Images, The Hague (NL)

2009
Method and Mode, Hidde van Seggelen, London (UK)
puu-puu-puu-tsjing-tsjing-tsjaf-tsjaf-tsjit, WE-Project Space, Brussels (BE)
La Salutation Bruxelloise, La Maison Dotremont, Brussels (BE)

2008
Chant de Mars, Galerie Triangle Bleu, Stavelot (BE)
Lustre in the Dark (Celestial Studies, Reveries, Twilight Scenes and Nocturnes), Galerie Nouvelles Images, The Hague (NL)
Plug In #37 / One on One, Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL)

2006
Galerie Nouvelles Images, The Hague (NL)
Several Short Films from the Seventies, Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (BE)

2005
Root Out, Cast Up and Thrust Down, Galerie BowievanValen, Amsterdam (NL)

2004
Seashore/Semaphore, Galerie Nouvelles Images, The Hague (NL)

2002
Chambres Separées, Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (BE)
The Limit to Which Man can Reach Out into Space, Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam (NL)
Moedervlek, Kunsthandel Lambert Tegenbosch, Heusden (NL)
Moedervlek (1965-1975), Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (BE)
Hook, Line and Sinker (collected editions: 1967-2002), Centrum voor Beeldende Kunst Dordrecht, Dordrecht (NL)

2000
Imminent Tempest, Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (BE)

1999
Obsidio Bredana, Breda’s Museum, Breda (NL)
Hollow Sorrow, Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, Diepenheim (NL)

1998
Winter over Spring, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (IE)
Pathway Colours, Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam (NL)

1997
Ferro Fever, “In het Kabinet”, Het Domein, Sittard (NL)

1996
Lure of Thumb, Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam (NL)
Pulse and Orbit, Sean Kelly, New York (US)
Projects, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (US)

1995
Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam (NL)

1994
MIT List Visual Arts Center, Boston (US)
Centre Saidye Bronfman, Montreal (CA)
Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (US)
Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam (NL)
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (US)

1993
Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL)
Ferro Fever, Institute of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam (NL)
La Charge Utile, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva (CH)
IVAM, Centre del Carme, Valencia (ES)
Pieter Laurens Mol, Zeichnungen, Galerie Franck & Schulte, Berlin (DE)

1992
Once I Existed, Galerie Franck & Schulte, Berlin (DE)
Once I Existed, Louver Gallery, New York (US)
Selected Works: 1983-1992, L.A.Louver Inc., Venice (US)

1991
Galleria Sperone, Rome (IT)

1990
Galleria Mikkola & Rislakki, Helsinki (FI)
Louver Gallery, New York (US)
Galerie Cintrik, Antwerp (BE)

1989
The Sanguine Surrender, a Tribute to Mars, Graeme Murray Gallery, Edinburgh (UK)
Migraine Meadow, Galleri Riis, Oslo (NO)
Portretten van de Waan 1983-1985, Cultureel Centrum De Beyerd, Breda (NL)
Internationaal Cultureel Centrum ICC, Antwerp (BE)

1988
Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg (DE)
Le Musée de Valence, Valence (FR)
Galerie Nikki Diana Marquardt, Paris (FR)
Prenten en voorwerpen, Galerie De Expeditie, Amsterdam (NL)
Galerie Cintrik, Antwerp (BE)

1987
Malmö Konsthall, Malmö (SE)
Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdsam (NL)

1986
Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam (NL)
Galerie Cintrik, Antwerp (BE)

1985
Kunstverein Bremerhaven, Bremerhaven (DE)
Portretten van de Waan 1983-1985, Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam (NL)
Travaux récents, Galerie Rivolta, Lausanne (CH)
Fotografien, Zeichnungen, Galerie Hartmut Beck, Erlangen (DE)
Raum 41 (with Bert Boogaard), Bonn (DE)

1983
Galerie Helen van der Meij/ Paul Th. Andriesse, Amsterdam (NL)

1982
Galerie Helen van der Meij, Amsterdam (NL)

1981
Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (UK)
Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (CH)
Galerie Toni Gerber, Bern (CH)
1980
Galerie Helen van der Meij, Amsterdam (NL)
Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart (DE)

1978
Galerie Helen van der Meij, Amsterdam (NL)

1977
Galerie Seriaal, Amsterdam (NL)
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (NL)
Deux Artistes de la Biennale (with Paul van Dijk), Institut Néerlandais, Paris (FR)

1976
Galerie Lóa, Haarlem (NL)

1975
Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL)

1974
Scultura Italiana, In-Out Center, Amsterdam (NL)
Galerie Fignal, Amsterdam (NL)

1973
In-Out Center, Amsterdam (NL)

1969
Galerie 845, Amsterdam (NL)

1968
Cultureel Centrum De Beyerd, Breda (NL)



SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS



2016
In-Out Center, De Appel art centre, Amsterdam (NL)
Perusing the Planks: Shelf Life, Galerie Nouvelles Images, The Hague (NL)
3 x 10, Galerie Triangle Bleu, Stavelot (BE)

2015
Le Grand Large: Territoire de la Pensée, Galerie Le Magasin de Papier, Mons (BE)
Veldwerk, Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, Diepenheim (NL)

2014
00:00:01 A Split Second, Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (BE)
Lés Echos De La Nature, annex14 Raum Für Aktuelle Kunst, Zürich (CH)
Hoge Horizon. Bruegelland Vroeg 21e Eeuw, Stedelijk Museum Lier, Lier (BE)
As Exciting As We Can Make It: Ikon In The 1980s, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (UK)

2013
One of a Kind, Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (BE)
Donatie Maurice van Valen, Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL)
Black Out - On the verge of the photographic, Parrotta Contemporary Art, Stuttgart (DE)

2012
Absence # Presence, Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (BE)
Among The Leaves, (with Bas Jan Ader, Walter Dahn and Daan van Golden), Figge von Rosen Galerie, Cologne (DE)
Downside Up, Galerie Triangle Bleu, Stavelot (BE)
Colorific, Ecole des Arts de Braine-l’Alleud, Braine-l’Alleud (BE)
Porta Nigra, Hidde van Seggelen Gallery, London (UK)

2011
Sculpture, Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (BE)
Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow, Hidde van Seggelen Gallery, London (UK)
All About Drawing, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Schiedam (NL)
Meer dan Tekenen, Galerie Nouvelles Images, The Hague (NL)
Origin(s), Maison Particulière, Brussels (BE)

2010
Antigrav – Figuren des Schwebens und Schwindels, Parotta Contemporary Art, Stuttgart (DE)
His/Her Nature, Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (BE)
Tu me fais tourner la tête, Galerie Triangle Bleu, Stavelot (BE)
Het Onweerstaanbare Verlangen, Galerie Nouvelles Images, The Hague (NL)
Far from Turmoil, Mol’s Place, London (UK)

2009
Past-Present-Future #2, Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (BE)

2008
Faces/(Auto)Portraits, Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (BE)

2007
Land, Sea and in the Air, Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (BE)
Icare, Salle Saint-Georges / Le Musée de l’Art wallon de la Ville de Liège, Liége (BE)

2005
A Guest + a Host = a Ghost, Hedge House / Kasteel Wijlre, Wijlre (NL)
45 jaar N.I. / 2 aan 2 (Deel 1), Galerie Nouvelles Images, The Hague (NL)
Cross Reference, Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (BE)
Untitled Folly, Galerie Bowie van Valen, Amsterdam (NL)
The Gravity in Art, De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam (NL)

2004
Le Cinéma des Photographes Néerlandais, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris (FR)
Raisons & Dérisions, Académie royale des Beaux-Arts de Liège, Liége (BE)
Drawing Room, Galerie RAM, Rotterdam (NL)

2002
Chambres Séparées, Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (BE)
Crafting Space, SMART Project Space, Amsterdam (NL)

2000
World Wide Flags - Drapeaux d’Artistes, Palais des Congrès, Liége (BE); Luxembourg (LU)
Bloemen van de Nieuwe Tijd / Nederlandse Bloemschilderkunst 1980-2000, Noordbrabants Museum, ’s-Hertogenbosch (NL)
De Anatomie van de Melancholie, Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (BE)

2001
Paper, Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (BE)

1999
Sense of Drawing, Galerie Nouvelles Images, The Hague (NL)
Manufacturing Meaning, The Adam Art Gallery / Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington (NZ)
Drawing Thinking, RHA Gallagher Gallery, Dublin (IE)
Einerseits der Sterne wegen..., Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden (DE)

1998
Materiais de Construção / Building Materials, (with Markus Raetz and Michelangelo Pistoletto), Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Centro de Arte Moderna José de Azeredo Perdigão, Lisbon (PT)
Der Vogel Selbsterkenntnis, Tiroler Volksmuseum, Innsbruck (AT)
Self-Portraits, Galerie Tanya Rumpff, Haarlem (NL)

1997
Lightness and Gravity, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (AU)
Amour & Obsession, Galerie Fortlaan 17, Ghent (BE)

1996
Fotografische Momenten, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Ghent (BE)
De Muze als Motor, De Beyerd, Breda (NL)
Ego Detox, Torch Gallery, Amsterdam (NL)

1995
Blue, Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco (US)

1994
De Ideale Plaats, Haags Centrum voor Actuele Kunst HCAK, The Hague (NL)
Tulpomania binnen en buiten, Frans Halsmuseum, Haarlem (NL)
Het Grote Gedicht, De Grote Kerk, The Hague (NL)

1993
Louver Gallery, New York (US)
Flora Photographica, Hayward Gallery, London (UK)
Fictions on the Self, Herter Art Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts (US)
Azur, Fondation Cartier, Jouy-en-Josas (FR)
Le Jardin de la Vierge, Espace 251 Nord, Brussels (BE)

1992
Strata, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (FI); Tampere Art Museum, Tampere (FI)
Joy & Pain..., Institute of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam (NL)
Poesis, Aspects of contemporary poetic Activity, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (UK)

1991
Nachtregels / Nightlines. Words without Thoughts Never to Heaven Go, Art in Utrecht’s historic inner city from sunset to sunrise, various sites in the city, Utrecht (NL)
Clemente, Dorner, Iglesias, Mol, Sarmento, Louver Gallery, New York (US)
L’Invitation au voyage, Art contemporain des Pays Bas / De uitnodiging tot de reis, Hedendaagse kunst uit Nederland, Vergadercentrum Albert Borschette, Brussels (BE)

1990
Non-Sculpture, Galerie Barbara Farber, Amsterdam (NL)
Zelfportretten, Galerie Tanya Rumpff, Haarlem (NL)

1989
Passages, Haags Centrum voor Actuele Kunst HCAK, The Hague (NL)

1988
Universalis / Beelden van de Idee, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam (NL)
La Giovane Scultura Olandese, Palazzo Sagredo, Venice (IT)
Nobody’s Fools, De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam (NL)

1987
Tekenen ’87, Museum Boijmans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam (NL)
Art from Europe, The Tate Gallery, London (UK)
Déconstruction, Halles des Schaerbeek, Brussels (BE)
À l’heure de la Hollande / Out of Holland, Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montréal (CA)
Century 87, Kunst van nu ontmoet Amsterdams verleden / Today’s Art face to face with Amsterdam’s Past, “Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder” + various other sites in the city, Amsterdam (NL)
Nachtvuur / Nightfire, De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam (NL)

1986
Origins, Originality + Beyond, The Sixth Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (AU)
Portraits de scène à l’île aux phoques, Casa Frollo, Venice (IT)
Prospekt 86, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (DE)
Photography as Performance (message through object & picture), The Photographer’s Gallery, London (UK)

1985
Das poetische ABC, Alles und noch viel mehr, Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern (CH)
Investigations, Place Saint-Lambert, Liège (BE)
Geënt op Bosch, Museum ‘t Kruithuis, ’s-Hertogenbosch (NL)
Wat Amsterdam betreft / As far as Amsterdam goes, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (NL)
Self-portrait in the age of photography. Photographers reflecting their own image, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne (CH); Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart (DE); Akademie der Künste, Berlin (DE); Sarah Campbell Blaffer Gallery, Houston (US); San Antonio Traves Park Plaza, San Antonio (US)

1984
Onder invloed van Mercurius, Scheepvaartmuseum, Amsterdam (NL)

1983
Kunst mit Photographie, Nationalgalerie, Berlin (DE); Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (DE); Münchner Stadtmuseum, Munich (DE); Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Kiel (DE)
Gesignaleerd – Neue Kunst aus den Niederlanden, Kunsthalle zu Kiel (DE)

1982
Momentbild-Künstlerphotographie, Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (DE)
Contemporary Art from the Netherlands, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (US); Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (CA); Iowa State University, Ames (US); La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla (US)
’60-’80, Attitudes, Concepts, Images, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (NL)
Zien en gezien worden. Fotografische zelfbespiegelingen in Nederland, Nijmeegs Museum “Commanderie van Sint-Jan”, Nijmegen (NL)

1981
Instant fotografie, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (NL)

1980
Nuova Immagine, Palazzo della Triennale, Galleria del Disegno, Milan (IT)
Beograd ’80, Exposition internationale des Arts plastiques, Musée d’Art Moderne, Belgrade (RS)
Het Eeuwige Tijdelijke, Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht (NL)

1979
Fotografie in Nederland 1940-1975, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (NL)
Europa 1979, Kunst der 80-er Jahre / Art of the Eighties, Stuttgart (DE)
Photographie als Kunst 1879-1979. Kunst als Photographie 1949-1979, Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck (AT); Neue Galerie am Wolfgang Gurlitt Museum, Linz (AT); Neue Galerie am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz; Museum des XX. Jahrhunderts, Vienna (AT)
Mit Natur zu tun, To do with Nature, Pulchri Studio, The Hague (NL)
Unga Hollandäre, Tre aspekter på verkligheten, Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm (SE)

1978
Personal Worlds, Reality as Metaphor, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (NL)

1977
X. Biennale de Paris, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris (FR)
Nederlandse Kunstenaarsboeken, Haags Gemeentemuseum, The Hague (NL)

1976
7 Holländische Künstler, Kunstmuseum, Luzern (CH)
Hollandse Week, De Appel, Amsterdam (NL)
Brabant Biënnale, Cultureel Centrum De Beyerd, Breda (NL)

1975
Visual Poetry International, De Doelen, Rotterdam (NL)
Internationale Visuele Poëzie, Cultureel Centrum ’t Hoogt, Utrecht (NL)

1974
In-Out Center, Amsterdam (NL)

1972
Reykjavik Art Festival, Galleri Súm, Reykjavik (IS)
In-Out Center, Amsterdam (NL)

1969
Zomer-opstelling, Galerie “OREZ”, The Hague (NL)
Pläne und Projekte als Kunst, Kunsthalle, Bern (CH)