Sally Bishop Prize winner Jakob Fioole exhibition at Worcester Art Museum

The Worcester Art Museum presents Jakob Fioole: The Sally Bishop Prize, a solo exhibition of work by the winner of the Sally Bishop Prize, the top honor at the 2023 ArtsWorcester Biennial. The exhibition comprises 18 paintings by Worcester-area artist Jakob Fioole, all created within the last six years. Organized by Samantha Cataldo, the Museum’s Curator of Contemporary Art, in collaboration with ArtsWorcester, the exhibition will be on view June 1 through September 1, 2024. 

Fioole, originally from the Netherlands, creates large-scale oil paintings reflecting on his views and feelings of our modern world and what led us here. His work incorporates speculative, dystopic imagery, with references to machinery, industry, and popular culture. Fioole’s art is influenced by the urban landscapes and cultural makeup of his new home in the United States. Fioole attended art school in the Netherlands and visited the United States regularly before moving to Massachusetts in 2009. 

“While processing everything I encounter in this world and society, I study the things that move me most, looking to find alternative perspectives and combine them in a different context to create a new meaningful moment set in an immersive environment that the observer is a visitor to,” Fioole said. 

“We are proud to be working with ArtsWorcester to provide a platform for artists working in Central Massachusetts,” Samantha Cataldo, the Worcester Art Museum’s Curator of Contemporary Art, said. “Fioole’s paintings, united by their distinctive color palette and enigmatic imagery, each present a compelling story for the viewer to piece together.” 

In his statement announcing Fioole as the winner, 2023 ArtsWorcester Biennial juror Conor Moynihan (Assistant Curator, Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the RISD Museum) said, “There is a sense of narrative, however ambiguous, combined with subtle and evocative mark-making that compels one to want to keep looking.” 

Accompanying the exhibition is an opening event on June 1, during which Fioole will present an artist talk on the process and inspirations that brought him to this point. More information about related programs and events is available at worcesterart.org. 

Jakob Fioole: The Sally Bishop Prize is the fourth collaborative exhibition between the Worcester Art Museum and ArtsWorcester. The organizations began this partnership in 2017 and have since held a solo exhibition every two years for the winner of the Biennial. The Sally Bishop Prize exhibitions are part of the Worcester Art Museum’s ongoing commitment to presenting local artists while connecting with one of the preeminent contemporary art organizations in the region, ArtsWorcester. The first 150 artists who submitted work to the 2023 ArtsWorcester Biennial received a Worcester Art Museum membership, regardless of whether their work was accepted for exhibition. 

“This partnership is living proof of the Worcester Art Museum’s belief in regional artists, and of the welcome that Central Massachusetts can offer to newcomers,” ArtsWorcester Executive Director Juliet Feibel said. “Jakob emigrated here, threw himself wholeheartedly into our artist community, and will now represent ArtsWorcester at one of the country’s finest museums. We could not be more thrilled.” 

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