Bouke de Vries


Click here to view a video presented in The New York Times Magazine, Art & Design section. Dutch artist Bouke de Vries discusses the inspiration behind his work at his West London home and studio. (Oct. 2014)

Born Utrecht, The Netherlands

1978–81     Design Academy, Eindhoven
1981–2     Central School of Art, London
1989–92     West Dean College

1981–3     Stephen Jones Millinery
1983-85     John Galliano
1985-89     Zandra Rhodes
1992–     Self-employed ceramics conservator
2009–     Artist


Croome Park re-defined, installation piece for National Trust
Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam, solo show


RE — Reanimate, Repair, Mend and Meld, Ferrin Contemporary, North Adams, MA
Asia-Amsterdam, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
War and Pieces, Hetjens Museum, Düsseldorf

Blue and White, Ariana Museum, Geneva, group show
War and Pieces, Gemeente Museum den Haag, solo presentation
Skelet, Beelden aan zee, The Hague, group show
Blue and White, Foundation Bernardaud, Limoges, group show
Re-animate, Repair Mend and Meld, Bluecoat Display Centre Liverpool, group show
Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Cheongju, Korea, presentation as part of the biennale
Sweet 18, Castle Hingene, Belgium, group show
Fragments, Chateau de Nyon, Switzerland, solo show

Taiwan Ceramics Biennale, Taipei
Threads of my Life, Gloria Maria Gallery, Milan, solo show
Re-Used, Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam, group show

Old Master Dialogues, Collyer Bristow Gallery, London, group show
Art South: collaborations, Southampton Art Gallery, Southampton
Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth
St Barbe’s, Lymington, solo presentation
Anders, Historisch Museum, Haarlem, Netherlands
War and Pieces, residency with Outset, Netherlands, Amsterdam
The Masks We Wear, ARTECO Gallery, group show
War and Pieces, Alnwick Castle, Alnwick, solo installation
Beastly Hall, Hall House, Bexley, group show
Gilles Balmet Collection, Medusa Caravage Salon, Nouvelles vagues, Galerie Dominique Fiat, group show
War and Pieces, Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin, solo Installation
Portretten op Buitenplaats Beeckestijn, Buitenplaats Beeckesijn, Velsen

Bow Selector, Pallant House, Chichester, solo installation
Mono No Aware, Bo Lee Gallery, Bath
Vanita/Contemporary Reflections, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, group show
Bad for You, Shizaru Gallery, group show
NL-Dutch Cultural Pop-Up Projects, group show
This is London, Shizaru Gallery, group show
War and Pieces, Holbourne Museum, Bath, solo Installation
WWF Pandemonium, Collabaration with Stephen Jones
The Korenbeurs, Schiedam, group show
Earthly Delights, Laleh June Gallery, Basel, group show
York City Art Gallery, York, group show
Waste, Tanya Rumpf Gallery, Haarlem, group show
Lot’s Wife, Salisbury Arts Centre, Salisbury, group show

Between Dimensions: The Representation of the Object, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, group show
Craft, Raiders of the Lost Art, Pertwee Anderson & Gold, London, group show
Chezlegrandbag, Art&Rapy, Monaco, group show
The Return, The House of a Nobleman, London, group showSigns (Metamorphosis), Gloria Maria Gallery, Milan, solo show
Precious, Art at Anoushka, London, solo show
Fire, Works, Vegas Gallery, London, solo show
Roulette, Vegas Gallery, London, group show
Rose Meditative, Laleh June Galerie, Basel, group show
Questions of Belongings, MIMA, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, group show

Contemporary Eye, Crossovers, Pallant House, Chichester, group show
Vanitas: The Transience of Earthly Pleasures, All Visual Arts at 33 Portland Place, London, group show
Pieces, Super Window Project, Kyoto, solo show
The Borrowed Loop, Man & Eve Gallery, London, group show
A Grand Tour of my Mind, Gloria Maria Gallery, Milan, solo show
Deconstructions, Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam, solo show

Emerging Artists, Murmur Art/Flora Fairburn Productions
Selfridges, London, group show

Aberdeen Art Gallery
The Ariana, Geneva, Switzerland
Caldic collection, Netherlands
Collection Edgar J. and Clarissa Bronfman, London
Collection Hugo Brown, The Netherlands
Collection Elton John, London/Los Angeles
Collection Taiq Al Jaidah
Collection Kay Saatchi, Los Angeles
Collection Frances Reynolds, London
Le Chateau de Nyon, Nyon, Switzerland
MIMA, Middlesbrough
MONA, Tasmania
MUDAC, Lausanne, Switzerland
Ministry of foreign affairs Netherlands
Pallant House Gallery
Peabody Essex Museum, Salem
York City Art Gallery
Zabludowicz Collection, London


Bouke de Vries is a Dutch-born ceramic artist currently living and working in London. He has lived a life that is much like his artwork — a mash-up of old world skills that he uses to remix, reorder, and deliver overt contemporary satire and social commentary. The  reverse of Ai Weiwei, who dramatically dropped the Han dynasty urn to make a point about the loss of history, de Vries puts the broken back together to re-contextualize the past.

de Vries applies gold (kintsugi technique) to highlight the cracks of exploded ceramic matter to create new meaning and added value to shattered ceramic vessels and figurines, archeological finds, sunken treasure, and scavenged beach shards. Sad stories of accidents, disasters, mistakes, and loss become new triumphs. Using the skills of the conservator and reversible but miraculously strong adhesives, deVries actually does put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

With his skillful touch and biting wit, de Vries’ shards come to life to deliver a humorous punch or social commentary. de Vries’ career, like his work, is exploding.