press release

Marian Goodman Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Rineke Dijkstra, Park Portraits, which will open on Friday December 7 th and will be on view through Saturday, January 19 th .

Park Portraits will present a new series of portraits of schoolchildren and adolescents in activity and repose, engaged in daily life, and photographed in city parks in Europe, China, and the United States. This will be the first presentation in France. of this body of work, which the artist began in 2005. Three of these pictures were previewed at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam in 2005 and elicited a strong response during the tour of Rineke Dijkstra: Portraits, which opened at Jeu de Paume, Paris, and also traveled to Fotomuseum, Winthertur; La Caixa, Barcelona; and Rudolfinum, Prague.

Writing about the park portraits in a Dutch daily newspaper during the time of the Stedelijk show, Kees Keijer wrote: "Dijkstra let go of her former austerity and photographed four young people in Amsterdam during a "Dejeuner sur l'herbe anno 2005". Again the work is frontal, but now the pose is relaxed. The surroundings in Dijkstra's work used to be extremely sober; now, candy wrappings and empty soft drink bottles are lying about. A gaping rucksack zipper offers a nearly symbolic perspective on a different reality: one of homework, commitments and expectations for the future. But they don't want to think about that just now." - Dutch paper Het Parool

The focus and strength of Rineke Dijkstra's oeuvre throughout several bodies of work has been capturing what is both uniquely personal and universal about her subjects in their rites of passage from childhood to adolescence, from the Beach Portraits of 1992 and on, to the video installation Buzzclub/Mysterworld (1996-1997), Tiergarten Series (1998-2000), Israeli soldiers (1999-2000), and the single-subject portraits in serial transition: Almerisa (1994-2005), Shany (2001-2003) and Olivier (2000-2003). "Before our eyes, and quite unself-consciously, we see subjects constructing themselves - revealing themselves in their very process of self-construction." (Therese St. Gelais, Parachute). In this new body of work "the atmosphere... is more theatrical than the 90's portraits. The best example of this can be found in the photograph of a small Spanish girl on a candy colored scooter, an image Dijkstra caught in a park in Barcelona. The almost fairy-tale surroundings (including flowering sprigs and a romantic pond with boats) turn the serious faced pre-schooler into a kind of Alice in Wonderland." - Paola van der Velde in De Telegraaf Speaking about the Vondelpark pictures, Jason Oddy writes, "Rather than employ the stripped-down backgrounds of her earlier work, she here positions her subjects in almost Edenic surroundings, with sunlight dappling a lake behind some trees. It is a move that both looks back to the tradition of landscape painting and which provides a context and support for the sitters. In the strongest picture, a comely adolescent couple sit in the shade of a tree, he retiringly behind her, she staring directly out, the intensity of her gaze commanding you to return it. In this serene and contemplative depiction of youthful ardour Dijkstra manages to distill all their subterranean fervour. 'I think in a good picture there is a kind of rest and harmony, she says. As though they have been sitting there forever' (-RD). And as she speaks I understand that it is precisely her infectious calm that at times enables the young people she photographs to step out of the maelstrom of their everyday lives and enter eternity." -- Modern Painters magazine Rineke Dijkstra was born in Sittard, The Netherlands in 1959. She attended the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam from 1981-1986. She has been honored with the Citibank Photography Prize, Villa Arson, Nice (1998); the Werner Mantz Award (1994); and the Kodak Award Netherlands (1987) among others. Recent solo exhibitions of her work have been seen in Europe and beyond: in 2005-2006 in the Rineke Dijkstra: Portraits tour, which was on view in Paris, Winterthur, Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Prague; and earlier, at Frans Halsmuseum (De Hallen), Haarlem, The Netherlands; the Herzliya Museum of Art, Israel (2001); MACBA, Barcelona (1999); Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Sprengel Museum, Hannover; and Museum Folkwang Essen, and Galerie der Hochschule fur Grafik, Leipzig (all 1998). In the United States, she has had one person shows at LaSalle Bank, Chicago (2004); Art Institute of Chicago (2001); and Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2001). A selection of recent group exhibitions include Out of Time: A Contemporary View (2006) at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Girls Night Out, Orange County Museum of Art, Aspen Museum of Art, and Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston (2003-2006); Moving Pictures (2004), Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao; and Photo Triennial (2003), International Center of Photography, New York.

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Rineke Dijkstra
Park Portraits