woensdag 30 juni 2010

Top 10 Dutch Photographers 2010 the Elsevier's Magazine List Photography

Elsevier’s Top 10 Dutch Photographers

JUNE 30, 2010 by Suzanne van der Lingen
In their May issue, Elsevier published their annual top 100 Dutch artists list. The top 5 were as follows:
  1. Guido van der Werve (Video/Film)
  2. Marlene Dumas (Painting)
  3. Michael Raedecker (Painting)
  4. Fiona Tan (Video/Film)
  5. Atelier van Lieshout (Mixed Media)
I’ve written about Fiona Tan and Guido van der Werve previously, and absolutely adore their work. However, what I’m going to focus on in this post is the top 10 Dutch Photographers, as pronounced by Elsevier. Number 1 is the ever familiar Erwin Olaf, who ranked 7th in the overall list. So here’s the complete rundown of the top 10:

  1. Erwin Olaf
One of the most internationally successful and notorious Dutch photographers is of course Erwin Olaf. Known for his immaculate photographs, usually digitally manipulated to within an inch of the absolutely insanely surreal. I saw his work for the first time on show at the Photography Museum in The Hague, where his series Rain, Grief, Hope and Fall were on show. Within a year of that, there was a major retrospective in Antwerp of all his commercial photography, including graphic images from his early days like this one and this one. He’s always courting controversy or the absurd, like in his portraits of clowns or his video of a young family completely clad in s&m attire, although the aforementioned series on show in The Hague, particularly Rain, Grief and Hope, have a much softer and accessible touch to them. I love the sentimentality of them, and their subtle emotive evocation. On his website you’ll find clips of his video work and much more of his photography.
Admittedly, I wasn’t previously familiar with Ruud van Empel’s work. Thankfully this has now changed. Originally trained as a graphic designer, van Empel creates elaborate digital collages of young children and exotic landscapes by photographing each element individually and digitally piecing together the overall image. As described on the Saatchi website, ‘The juxtaposition of these hyper-realistic elements, lushly filled backgrounds with the haunting gaze of children, creates a mysterious relationship between two conspicuously diverse visual worlds.’
Now, whoever doesn’t know Dijkstra’s work must have been living under a proverbial rock. Her subject matter tends towards people who’s identity are in flux; teenagers portrayed in swimsuits, soldiers in uniform, new mothers holding their babies days after birth. Her portraits are extremely delicate, and leave her models exposed yet dignified (in my opinion). There’s an awkward fragility that resounds throughout her photographs, perpetuated by the serene simplicity of the backdrops and the revealing expressions and poses of the portrayed. Here’s an interview with Dijkstra.
Like Dijkstra, Hellen van Meene focuses her photography on people who are not used to modeling for the camera and therefore have less pretenses towards their photographic image. Unlike Dijkstra however, van Meene works with natural light.  There seem to be two main trends in Dutch photography: photographic manipulation and identity transformation, mostly personified by youth. Van Meene’s work is an excellent example of the latter.
Here’s an interview.
Martin Roemers is a documentary photographer, who has spent a decade traveling around formerly hostile countries to document the remnants of conflict. He photographs derelict tunnels, trails of scrap metal, burnt out cars, all of which are symbols for a war which, although over, still scars the landscapes of either side of the involved countries. He’s also photographed the car manufacturer Trabant’s final production days and soldier’s in Kabul, with his oeuvre focusing on industrial relics and the scars of war.
Ad van Denderen is another documentary photographer who dedicates himself to long-term projects. He has worked on series focusing on Apartheid, the Gaza conflict and Afghanistan, as well as documenting socio-economic changes throughout Europe (one project, So Blue So Blue,documents every country that borders the Mediterranean sea and is ‘his personal attempt to make sense of the vast economic, political, socio-religious and ecological changes taking place around the open space that Europe, Asia and Africa have contested and shared for centuries.’source).
Charlotte Dumas takes portraits of animals which have close ties to people, such as police dogs or zoo animals. She frames them traditionally, walking the thin line between stereotypical ‘animal/pet’ photography and fine art. The resulting images are moving and evocative, and have garnered Dumas much attention and praise over recent years. Here’s an interview with her about her dog portraits.
Anton Corbijn is the rock and roll bad boy of the list. Besides being a photographer, he’s also a director (mostly music videos, although the Ian Curtis biopic Control is his first feature length foray). He’s creative director for U2 and Depeche Mode, and has worked with a startling amount of international musicians (I included his portrait of Tom Waits as I am currently obsessed with his music).
9. Lidwien van de Ven

Van de Ven ‘explores questions of representation, of the mechanics of image perception, of what is
visible or invisible.’ Although she approaches subject matter that is frequently depicted through photojournalism, she documents from an analytical remove, questioning underlying ideologies and structures in contemporary media.
Koos Breukel is one of the more traditional portrait photographers, and there are ties to traditional Dutch painting in his style. He operates from his studio in Amsterdam, and shoots portraits on a large format camera mainly using artificial light. As described on his website, ‘he photographs people because he wants to find out if they have suffered some form of injury as a result of setbacks in their lives, and if they have managed to come to terms with this.’
So there you have it, the run down of the top 10 according to Elsevier. I would personally love to see Hendrik Kerstens climb up the list, but of course Dutch photography is awash with an overwhelming amount of talent (I’ll be going to Amsterdam soon to see the Inez & Vinoodh exhibition, can’t wait). Also, I’d like to point out that Pieter Wisse of Four Eyes Photography & Art Gallery in Rotterdam has embarked on a mission to compile a list of 500 contemporary, living photographers who are leaving an influential mark on photography. Amongst them are of course some of the Dutch heavyweights, but his list (which will be updated 5 times a week for 100 weeks) spans the globe. Check it out at 500photographers.com.

zondag 20 juni 2010

Corporate Culture in the Netherlands Luuk Kramer Reinier Gerritsen Documentary Photography

Corporate Culture in the Netherlands
Smeeroliecomplex van Shell Pernis, 1990-1992, fotograaf Kramer

These pictures show employees posing in their workplace, or the workplaces themselves. The result is a trek past identical desks, behind which interchangeable gentlemen of indeterminable age are seated. In most cases they are bosses of an endless procession of archival clerks, secretary's and guys working in the assembly hall.

Photographing corporate culture is no simple task. It has been described as the sum of the written and (maybe even predominantly) unwritten rules, governing the social interaction between a company's employees and regulating and shaping their contacts with third parties. The larger part of this is invisible. See for Business Etiquette and Protocol ...

Both photographers have tried to capture the visible (office design and furnishings) but also the invisible (people's attitudes and manners). Reinier Gerritsen mainly made stylised, carefully staged group portraits. Luuk Kramer chose a documentary, narrative approach.
Reinier Gerritsen
Luuk Kramer

See also for The Table of Power. HASSINK, Jacqueline.
Photographs and text by Jacqueline Hassink. Essays by Henri Peretz and Raoul Bunschoten. With 21 four-color plates and additional black and white illustrations. Sage green cloth-covered flexible boards with title stamped in gold on spine and copy number stamped in black on a debossed gold panel on cover; no dust jacket as issued. First edition, limited to 1,000, each individually stamp-numbered on front cover. Dutch artist Jacqueline Hassink explores the upper echelons of corporate culture - this book consists of photographs of the boardroom tables of major multinational companies. Using the 'Fortune 500' list, Hassink approached Europe's top forty companies. Only 21 allowed a photograph to be taken of their boardroom. Those that denied access are included as black photographs. Parr, M. and Badger, G., The Photobook: A History Vol.2, pp.278-79. From the Gallery of Photography: "Dutch artist Jacqueline Hassink explores the upper echelons of corporate culture. Her photographs of the boardroom tables of multinational companies bring us into the heart of those spaces where nameless and faceless individuals make decisions that affect us all. Using the 'Fortune 500' list, Hassink approached Europe's top forty companies. Only 21 allowed a photograph to be taken of their boardroom. Those that denied access are included as black photographs, prompting us to pose the question: what have they got to hide? Accompanied by the artist's notes made during the process of negotiation, the exhibition combines the rigour of investigative photojournalism with the conceptual flair of fine art practice. The formal clarity of the work lets the viewer's own experience of 'tables of power' -- the family dining table, the teacher's desk -- inform the work. See for Thijsen Bedrijfsfotoboek Company Photobooks Photography ...

zaterdag 19 juni 2010

Photographs of a world in a state of shock Reinier Gerritsen Photography

Photographs of a world in a state of shock

Reinier Gerritsen
Wall Street Stop

Edited by Nederlands Fotomuseum, Frits Giersberg, texts by Frits Giersberg, graphic design by René Put
English, Dutch 
2010. c. 120 pp., ca. 45 color ills.
30,00 x 24,00 cm
pub. date: June 2010
ISBN 978-3-7757-2720-4

Grand Central Station in New York City

When the financial crisis of 2009 was at its peak, Reinier Gerritsen took photographs of people in the subway between Wall Street and Grand Central Station in the New York banking district. We see a variety of introverted commuters in unposed group portraits, reflecting the state of shock of a world unable to comprehend the collapse of the global financial system. In his choice of subject, Gerritsen consciously places himself within the tradition of documentary photography from Walker Evans to Bruce Davidson and their fascination with everyday metropolitan life. See for Review/Photography; What Walker Evans Saw on His Subway Rides ...
Gerritsen assembles his photos from a number of shots taken in rapid succession, and refers to his documentary series as a construct, thereby placing his work at the center of the discussion on the significance of documentary photography in the year 2010. Zie voor een recensie ...
Exhibition schedule: Nederlans Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, June 26–September 12, 2010

vrijdag 18 juni 2010

Martien Coppens Drinkwatervoorziening Brabant Company Photography

Drinkwatervoorziening: Waterleidingsmaatschappij Oost-Brabant. [Text C.N.M. Kortmann (foreword); J.Th.M. Smits van Oyen van Eckart. Photography, layout Martien Coppens
's-Hertogenbosch / 1961 / 124 p. / pb. (sewn) / 28x22cm / 89 b&w photographs / bedrijfsreportage en documentaire foto's / landschap, groepsportret, recreatie, opbouw van een pompstation en het winnen van drinkwater). - Ill. 1 b&w photographs, 6 color / wapen, kaart en grafieken. / NN / Firmenschrift, Festschrift / Photographie - Monographie - Auftragsphotographie, commissioned photography - Nederland, Niederlande - 20. Jahrh. / Printed by Zuid-Nederlandsche Drukkerij NV, Den Bosch (boekdruk). - Opdrachtgever: NV Waterleidingsmaatschappij Oost-Brabant WOB (25-jarig bestaan). - Beeldverhaal. De tekst is gezet uit de Baskerville. De bedrijfsreportage is doorschoten met foto's van landschap en stedenschoon en beelden van klein huiselijk geluk. De mens in het bedrijf wordt nauwelijks in beeld gebracht. Het fotokatern wordt niet onderbroken door tekst
Martien Coppens (1908-1986) Subjective Photographer | Promote Your Page Too

dinsdag 15 juni 2010

the Making of Exactitudes Ari Versluis & Ellie Uyttenbroek Photography

Penny Martin talks with Ari Versluis & Ellie Uyttenbroek of Exactitudes during the making of the London series at The Ultralounge of Selfridges in London.

zondag 13 juni 2010

Dutch Photobooks Catalog Bauman Rare Books Photography

c a s o o r t h u y s
The “First Task Was To Bear Witness”
140. (OORTHUYS, Cas). Amsterdam tijdens de hongerwinter [Amsterdam during the ‘Hungerwinter’]. Amsterdam, 1947. Large quarto, original half black cloth, dust jacket. $5200.

First edition, a landmark photobook of “extreme hardship… resilience and resistance” (Parr & Badger), with over 140 black-and-white photogravures, many secretly taken by leading members of the Dutch Underground Camera Group—as Oorthuys, Emmy Andriesse and Krun Taconis—ocumenting Holland under the Nazis, in very scarce,unrestored dust jacket.
Published only two years after Holland’s liberation from the Nazis, “this is not simply a book remembering and commemorating Amsterdam’s dreadful winter of 1944-45, but also a political rallying cry for the future… The story told is of extreme hardship—unger, poverty and cold. People stand in food queues or search desperately for firewood, while others lie dead or dying in the streets But Amsterdam also showed resilience and resistance… It was a landmark publication by a group of photographers with both an ethical and an aesthetic attitude.” Leading photojournalists such as Cas Oorthuys, Emmy Andriesse, Krun Taconis, and others who formed the Underground Camera Group, made these images at great risk, each understanding that Amsterdam’s “first task was to bear witness.” As the journalist Max Nord wrote in the book’s introduction, “Was it not in those times that we dreamed our most beautiful dreams?… While uniformed Germans marched along Amsterdam’s canals, their clipped songs resounding past the overcrowded prisons, we had a clear vision of the most perfect freedom” (Parr & Badger, 196). Text in Dutch. Introductory essay by Max Nord. With extremely scarce photographic dust jacket printed on verso, typical of such postwar publications. Book fine; some chipping to spine ends, closed tears along spine seam, minor tape repair to verso of very good, unrestored dust jacket. Rare.

j o a n v a n d e r k e u k e n

“Capturing That Moment When Childhood Ends”
178. VAN DER KEUKEN, Joan. Wij zijn 17 [We are 17]. Bussum, 1955. Slim octavo, original stiff photographic wrappers. $2500.
First edition, the first photobook by renowned photographer and filmmaker Van der Keuken, with 30 black-and-white “innovative” halftones of Dutch youth about to “take a deep breath and step out into the world” (Parr & Badger).
“In 1955, the 17-year-old Joan van der Keuken [1938-2001] caused a stir in Dutch publishing with his book Wij zijn 17 (We Are 17)… Innovative… in its treatment of a section of society… the 30 pictures in Wij zijn 17 are tellingly simple. Students lounge around in their rooms, doing nothing very much, as if waiting for their adult lives to begin. The mood is uncertain, capturing that moment when childhood ends and youth must take a deep breath and step out into the world… Van der Keuken’s foray into the new form of the ‘photonovel’… became a model for other books examining the same phenomenon” (Parr & Badger II:244). Van der Keuken went on to become “arguably Europe’s most important documentary filmmaker” (New York Times). Scarce first edition; text in Dutch. Images quite fresh; lightest edge-wear to fragile photographic wrappers. A key European photobook, near-fine.

v a n d e r e l s k e n

“Jazz Visually Echoes The Music Itself”
177. VAN DER ELSKEN, Ed. Jazz. Amsterdam, 1959. Small square octavo, original laminated photographic boards. $2200.
First edition, Dutch issue, a “gem of a book” (Parr & Badger), with over 100 rich, velvety photogravures of jazz greats, including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basie, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Sarah Vaughan.
“The 1950s constituted a golden age for jazz music. The decade was also renowned for classic small-camera photography, much of it as rough and ready as the best experimental jazz. The two art forms combine to perfection in Ed van der Elsken’s gem of a book, Jazz. Jazz is an elusive art form, and there would seem to be two aspects to pinning it down in a photobook: the form of the photographs and the form of the book.Van der Elsken’s assiduous attention to both makes this modest volume probably the most successful of the numerous attempts to do so… Jazz visually echoes the music itself” (Parr & Badger I:246). Roth, 156. Text in Dutch. First edition, Dutch issue, published same year in German as Foto-Jazz; both printed in Holland, no priority established. Open Book, 184. Owner signature on title page. Images clean and fresh, mild rubbing to bright boards, light tape repair to spine of near-fine book.

h a n s a a r s m a n 

“The Sheer Beauty Of The Light” 
2. AARSMAN, Hans. Hollandse Taferelen [Dutch Tableaux]. Amsterdam, 1989. Oblong quarto, original gray cloth, mounted cover photographic plate, dust jacket. $1800. 
First edition of Aarsman’s acclaimed photobook, with 36 color and six black-and-white plates that affirm his unique and “finely tuned picture-making sensibilities” (Parr & Badger).
“Dutch photographer Hans Aarsman has frequently expressed a distaste for ‘arty’ photographs, while acknowledging that the camera has an inherent propensity for beautifying the most mundane object or scene.” In Hollandse Taferelen, Aarsman’s “finely tuned picture-making sensibilities… [create] an expose of the forces shaping the Dutch environment—reeping industrialization, the motor vehicle—nd an homage to the 17th-century landscape painters, who invented the genre of modern landscape painting. Aarsman replaces the bucolic optimism of the paintings with a sardonic pessimism, keeping the irony tuned up and any other signs of self-expression toned down. Sometimes, however—robably to his annoyance—e cannot help but succumb to the sheer beauty of the light” (Parr & Badger II:69). Text in Dutch. First edition, issued in cloth only. A fine copy.

r i n e k e d i j k s t r a
“A Major New Voice In Portraiture” 
57. DIJKSTRA, Rineke. Portraits. Munchen and New York, 2004. Large quarto, original gray paper-covered boards, dust jacket, slipcase. WITH: Chromatic print signed. No place, June 29, 2004. Print measures 7 by 9-1/2 inches, written in penciled hand on verso, matted within cloth portfolio, entire piece measures 10 by 13 inches. $2800.
Limited “Collector’s Edition” of the first retrospective to honor internationally acclaimed Dutch photographer Dijkstra, number 90 of only 100 copies handnumbered in pencil by the photographer on limitation slip affixed to front free endpaper and featuring 70 four-color plates, set together in original slipcase with a matted chromatic print, enclosed in portfolio, titled and numbered in penciled hand on the verso, “Chlopy, Poland, July 29, 1995, 90/100” and signed in same penciled hand, “Rineke Dykstra, June 29, 2005.”
“When they first appeared in the 1990s, the portraits by the Dutch artist Rineke Dijkstra caused more of a stir than any comparable imagery since Diane Arbus”(Parr & Badger I:277). In this beautifully produced photobook, the acclaimed photographer portrays “young people in moments of vulnerability: young women who have just given birth, standing naked before the lens, child in arms; exhausted   matadors postfight” and her famed portraits of adolescents on the beach. Text in German and English. A fine copy.