Rineke Dijkstra – retrospective – 10 March – 22 July 2018 – Museum De Pont, Tiburg NL.

In October 2017 the Hasselblad Award, one of the most prestigious international prizes for photography, was granted to a Dutch photographer for the first time: Rineke Dijkstra (Sittard, 1959). De Pont is therefore especially proud to be showing the work of Dijkstra in a major retrospective that will open on 10 March.

The international jury commended Dijkstra as « …one of the most significant contemporary artists working in photographic portraiture. Her large-scale photographs focus on the thematics of identity, typically capturing her subjects at moments of transition or vulnerability. Working in series, Rineke Dijkstra’s images recall the visual acuity of seventeenth-century Dutch portraiture, offering intimate portrayals of her sitters whilst also suggesting the situated aspects of their being. Rineke Dijkstra’s investigations in portraiture also include video. Her fixed-camera video studies yield images that appear to be moving photographs, revolutionizing our understanding of the fluid boundary between the still and moving image.

About twenty years ago Dijkstra acquired an international reputation with her probing ‘beach portraits’, in which differences and similarities among the subjects and their cultural backgrounds come to light in a subtle manner. In other series, such as Young Mothers and Bullfighters, conflicting emotions – exhaustion, excitement and pride – struggle for predominance.

The beautiful photographs, detailed with razor-sharp focus, give the viewer a sense of standing eye to eye with the individual subjects. At the same time, the serial character of this work also causes them to lose part of their individuality. As observers we identify mainly with the universally human feelings that they show, such as shyness and a lack of ease. Dijkstra also produces video works, one of which – I See a Woman Crying – was acquired by De Pont in 2010. Here we can see and hear a group of school children conducting a serious discussion about the meaning of Picasso’s painting The Weeping Woman. This video is in fact now on display in the anniversary exhibition ReView.

Other photographers who have won the prestigious Hasselblad Award and are represented in De Pont’s collection are Stan Douglas (2016), Sophie Calle (2010) and Jeff Wall (2002). Works by them are now also on view in the museum.

I See a Woman Crying 2009, Rineke Dijkstra, collectie De Pont

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