A true master of modern portraiture, Dutch artist Rineke Dijkstra’s large photographs and videos are brilliant studies of identity, vulnerability and dignity. She manages to capture people so that they are present to an astonishing degree, right there in that very moment.
Rineke Dijkstra (b. 1959) is one of the most prominent and internationally acclaimed artists working within the genre of photography and video portraiture.
Her large-scale photographs show a rare sense of humanity, empathy and intimacy without any trace of sentimentality or indiscretion. Dijkstra typically captures her subjects at moments of transition or vulnerability, thus focusing on the thematics of identity. Though absolutely modern, even timeless, her portraiture brings to mind the great masters of the Golden Age of Dutch art.
“I try to capture something of the personality of these people,” Rineke Dijkstra explains, “but at the same time extract something universal relating to humanity in general. There has to be enough space to make your own stories; to interpret a picture the way you want.”
The exhibition The One and The Many marked the first specific overview of Dijkstra’s work in Scandinavia. Organized by Louisiana in collaboration with De Pont museum, Tilburg.
In the early 1990s Rineke Dijkstra gained international recognition with her series of Beach portraits.
The acclaimed Almerisa series follows a Bosnian refugee girl over several years - from child to young adult.
"I seek to capture moments that reflect a multitude of emotions," Dijkstra says of her bullfighter portraits.
In her portraits Dijkstra manages to strike a rare balance between intimacy, sensibility and dignity.
Rineke Dijkstra is the 2017 recipient of one of the world’s most prestigious photography prizes, The Hasselblad Award. “She is one of the most significant contemporary artists working in photographic portraiture,” the Award Jury noted pointing to the connection between Dijkstra and the visual acuity of seventeenth-century Dutch portraiture.
“Her images are intimate portrayals of her sitters whilst also suggesting the situated aspects of their being,” the Jury stated and Duncan Forbes, Chair of the Jury for the Hasselblad Award 2017 further remarked:
“Rineke Dijkstra’s photographs and films speak brilliantly to the intricacy of the portrait image,” states its embodiment in time; its capacity to reveal history; the contingency of the act of exchange between sitter, photographer and spectator; and, ultimately, photography’s revelation of the self.”
“At a moment when the portrait image dissipates itself in an economy of narcissism and fractal celebrity,” Duncan continued, “Rineke Dijkstra reminds us of the photographic portrait’s public potential.”