Exhibition Description


Timothy van Laar
Reliable Data
Jan 16 – Feb 28

View images in this exhibition

All My Colors II

Above: Timothy van Laar, All My Colors II (2015) oil on canvas, 32 x 42 inches


Simone DeSousa Gallery is pleased to present Reliable Data, Timothy van Laar’s second solo exhibition in Detroit.

The paintings in this exhibition originate in the disruptive procedures of collage. Multiple, languages of paint, cataloging a wide range of painting processes, construct each painting, and these varied paint applications become specific representations and art historical references—a bird, a diagram, a tangle of black paint squeezed from the tube, a hard-edged geometric shape, a puddle of transparent paint.

Like collage and its radical recontextualizations, van Laar’s paintings examine the nature of representation and the function of signs. Beyond their status as paintings about painting, they offer strong allusions to visual culture and art history that suggest more subtle allegories, personal stories, and social critique.


Timothy van Laar is a mixed-media artist working in painting, collage, installation, drawing and more, as well as a distinguished scholar and art critic. He’s shown his work both nationally and internationally and is a part of many noteworthy private and public collections, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Illinois State Museum, J.P. Morgan, Herman Miller and Columbus State University. Timothy van Laar is currently Chair of Fine Arts at College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit, and comes from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where he taught studio art, criticism and art theory.

Van Laar has shown his paintings, art installations and works on paper widely in nearly 200 solo and group exhibitions across the United States, Europe and China. He has also co-authored three books that are used in art and design programs across the nation. The most recent, Artworld Prestige: Arguing Cultural Value, was published by Oxford University Press in January 2013. He has received numerous awards, grants and honors, including the Pew Charitable Trusts Scholars Grant, Fulbright Fellowship, Yaddo Residency and Arts America Grant. A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Van Laar has a BA from Calvin College and an MFA from Wayne State University. He has been a visiting artist, panelist and guest lecturer at numerous conferences, colleges, universities and museums in the U.S. and Europe. His work has been featured in many publications, including Who’s Who in American Art, Die Welt (Germany), Chicago Tribune, ARTnews and The Detroit News.