Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Rineke Dijkstra: A Retrospective at SFMOMA

Vondelpark, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, June 10, 2005

Few contemporary artists have been able to capture the vulnerable and volatile nature of teenagers like Rineke Dijkstra, who is to be given her first mid-career retrospective in the United States at SFMOMA, opening February 18th. The museum will feature nearly 70 of Dijkstra’s photographs and five video installations, including two recent projection pieces (it travels to the Guggenheim in June for its major New York debut). The Dutch artist is known for the intensity with which she fixes her lens on subjects at critical moments, like the impermanent and unstable state of adolescence, or the exhausted and relieved repose of the hours after birth.

Her method is old school: a blend of happenstance and calculation. She is most comfortable with a low-fi approach, and uses nothing more than strobe for assistance, allowing her portraits to attain a raw but hauntingly painterly quality. The relationship between the history of painting and her body of work has been of interest to critics, expressed in several essays in the exhibition’s accompanying catalogue. Works on view include her prolific series dedicated to child refugee Almerisa, who Dijktra photographed every few months into her adulthood, charting the changes she experienced both in her personal life and those visible to the camera as she was slowly molded by the social influences of stable Western European life. Another highlight will be her beach portraits of teenagers, which produce a magical window into the lives of these self-assured, self-aware, and often self-conscious young adults.

Almerisa, Wormer, the Netherlands, February 21, 1998
Amy, The Krazyhouse, Liverpool, England, December 23, 2008
Long Island, N.Y., USA, July 1, 1993
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, February 18 to May 28

Reposted from ARTINFO

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