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Biography

Guido van der Werve (1977, Papendrecht, NL) is a Dutch filmmaker and artist. He is best known for his video documented performances in which he pushes his own body to the limits; physically testing his endurance, exhaustion and perseverance. Scenes of the artist standing on the North Pole for 24 hours, completing a 1500 kilometer triatlon, setting himself on fire, or being hit by a car on full speed are examples of his extreme actions, that are accompanied by his own musical compositions. Van der Werve is currently working on a full-length feature film, due for completion in 2019. Initially trained as a classical pianist, Van der Werve switched to visual arts and studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam (NL). He was a resident at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam (NL) in 2006 and 2007, took part in the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York (US) in 2008, and was a resident at the Künstler-haus Bethanien, Berlin (DE) in 2011. 

Van der Werve started out as a performance artist, but unwilling to perform live and more than once, he began to document his performances. Developing this practice, he quickly got interested in film and cinematography, where he found a similar emotional directness as in music, which he was missing in visual arts. The key element of his work is still performance, but he added music, text, sport and atmospheric scenes as returning elements. 

Since 2007 Van der Werve composes his own music. So far he has created fifteen elaborate video works, all of which are numbered in Dutch and subtitled in English, which have been exhibited and screened widely, finding recognition in both the art and film world. He has received many awards including the Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs in 2007 (NL); the Grant to Artists of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York, NY (US) in 2008; the Prix International d’Art Contemporain of the Foundation Prince Pierre de Monaco in 2010 (MC); the Charlotte Koehler Prijs from the Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds in 2012 (NL) and the Grand Prix (Gouden Kalf) for Best Short Film at the Netherlands Film Festival in 2013. 

Van der Werve’s work has been exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA (US); Kyoto City University of Arts Art Gallery, Kyoto (JP); Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY (US); Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam (NL); Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (CH); Tel Aviv Art Museum, Tel Aviv (IL); Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei, Taipei (TW); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk (DK); the High Line in New York, NY (US) and in many other venues and festivals. He is also included in the upcoming exhibition Freedom, curated by Hans Den Hartog Jager, at museum De Fundatie in Zwolle (NL).

His work can be found in the collections of international museums and institutions, like the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY (US); Sammlung Goetz in Munich (DE); The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC (US); The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (NL); Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (NL); Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar (NL); Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX (US); Zabludowicz Collection, London (UK); Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin (IT) and others. 

Van der Werve’s musical compositions have been performed live in many occasions including by the Matangi Quartet at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam (NL); the American Symphony Orchestra at MoMA/PS1 in new York, Ny (IS); the St. Louis Philharmonic at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis, MO (US)and the Orchestra of Europe at the Clara Kirche for the Parcours section of Art Basel, Basel (CH).

Van der Werve is a visiting professor in a number of institutions like the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam, Pratt and Parsons in New York and the UCLA in Los Angeles. He lives and works in Hassi (SF), Amsterdam (NL), and Berlin (DE).

In addition to GRIMM, the artist is represented by Luhring Augustine gallery in New York (US) and Monitor gallery in Rome (IT) and Lisbon (PT).


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