Rineke Dijkstra


October 11, 2017 – February 4, 2018


The Hasselblad Award is an acknowledgement of major achievements in photography, recognizing artists that are seminal in the development of the medium. Rineke Dijkstra is one of the most significant contemporary artists working in photographic portraiture. Her works illuminate both individual and collective experiences. Dijkstra’s often large-scale photographs revolve around issues of identity formation and transition, typically capturing her subjects at unguarded moments. What specifically stands out in her portraits is an assured attention to detail as well as a sensitivity towards subtle yet revealing poses and gestures. Dijkstra’s portraiture also includes videos that resemble photographs in motion, advancing our understanding of the fluid boundary between still and moving images.


Dijkstra’s works are characterized by a rendering of significant shifts in people’s lives, such as the teenage years, motherhood, migration and military service. The selection of works in this exhibition focuses on transitions experienced by girls and women. Boys and young men are far from absent in Dijkstra’s oeuvre, but the female figure is the dominant subject in her photography and video works.


The Hasselblad Award exhibition includes Rineke Dijkstra’s early, iconic beach portraits of children and teenagers, and the ongoing series portraying the Bosnian-Dutch woman Almerisa, which the artist began in 1994. Other examples of nuanced transitions can be seen in the portraits of the new mother Tia, the soldier Shany, and the actress Georgie Henley. Two of Rineke Dijkstra’s video works feature a schoolgirl, Ruth, drawing a Picasso painting, and a young Russian ballerina, Marianna, rehearsing the Fairy Doll for an audition at the prestigious Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet.


Curators: Louise Wolthers and Dragana Vujanović Östlind, Hasselblad Foundation


The Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography has been awarded since 1980. It carries a prize of one million Swedish kronor and a gold medal. Rineke Dijkstra, born in 1959 in Sittard, the Netherlands, is the 37th Hasselblad Award Winner. She lives and works in Amsterdam. Coinciding with the exhibition at the Hasselblad Center, a retrospective of Rineke Dijkstra’s work will be held at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, in autumn 2017. The two exhibitions comprise the first comprehensive presentation of the artist’s work in Scandinavia.


In conjunction with the Hasselblad Award, the book Rineke Dijkstra: WO MEN, designed by Irma Boom in close collaboration with the artist, is published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König. It contains a new essay by Jennifer Blessing, as well as contributions by Rudi Fuchs and Hans den Hartog Jager.




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