Johan van der Keuken - The Art I Love Most

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Lecturis, 2022. Firsdt edition.
Hardcover, 288 pp., b/w and color illustrated, 230 x 290 mm. Photographs by Johan van der Keuken, Emmy Andriesse, Machiel Botman, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ad van Denderen, Leo Divendal, Ed van der Elsken, Leo Erken, René Groebli, William Klein, Kadir van Lohuizen, Eddy Posthuma de Boer, Koen Wessing. Birgit Donker, Frits Gierstberg, Herman Hertzberger, Johan van der Keuken, Lucebert, Aglaya Tomasi (English). Design by Kummer & Hermann.

“Without images I would die” is a typical statement by the Dutch cinematographer, essayist and photographer Johan van der Keuken (1938-2001). Van der Keuken gained international fame with an oeuvre that expressly moves between visual poetry and documentary. His work is generally considered part of the tradition of Dutch documentary photography and film, in which the humanistic view is central. His extremely sensitive view, the emphasis on the importance of concentrated watching and observation and visual thinking, make him a unique photographer-filmmaker in Dutch post-war history.

In the 1950s and early 60s he produced three high-profile photo books that are now part of the Dutch photographic canon. Van der Keuken particularly drew inspiration from jazz and the experimental poetry of the ‘Vijftigers’, a group of Dutch poets active in the 50s. Gradually, he came to see photography as an instrument for visual research into the power of an image. Just as in his films, the mobility of the frame of the image became a symbol for his own position in relation to ‘reality’. He aspired to maintain an equally open and socially involved attitude toward different perspectives, different
possibilities, different images – above all images. With this publication the Nederlands Fotomuseum presents, for thefirst time after more than twenty years, a large overview of his photographic work, which has lost none of its topicality.

From 8 October 2022 till 5 February 2023, a large exhibition featuring Johan van der Keuken’s work will be on display at the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam: The Art I Love Most.

Johan van der Keuken - The Arts I Love Most is part of  an ongoing series on the Collection & Exhibitions  of the Nederlands Fotomuseum.

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