New book: Tout va disparaître

cover of 'Hellen van Meene: Tout va disparaître' (2009) A new book by Hellen van Meene is out now.

It is published by Schirmer/Mosel (ISBN 978-3-8296-0417-8) and it's in stock now at Amazon.com. From the press release:

Dutch photographer Hellen van Meene’s new book invites you to enter her world. Tout va disparaître (French for "Everything will disappear", presents dreamlike portrait studies of really young people in their own individual surrounding environments.

Photographed in the USA, Russia and the Netherlands, these young people in carefully planned poses, with muted light seem to be hovering between melancholy and an atmosphere of departure.

In addition to an introductory essay by astrophysician and writer Jörg M. Colberg, the book is the first to include a selection of her interiors, still lifes and panoramic shots.

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Hellen van Meene is now on Twitter

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Solo exhibition: Sadie Coles HQ

Sadie Coles HQ
35 Heddon Street
London W1B 4BP, UK
4 September 2008 - 11 October 2008

In her second solo exhibition at Sadie Coles HQ Hellen van Meene will show new work made in the south of the US (2007) and around St. Petersburg, Russia (2008). The new works include photos made with a panoramic camera, and still lifes.

Sadie Coles HQ opened in April 1997 with exhibitions of new paintings by John Currin and an installation by Sarah Lucas, at a time of unprecedented excitement in young contemporary art. Hellen's first exhibition at HQ was in the summer of 2000. Artists represented by the gallery include Carl Andre, Matthew Barney, John Bock, Urs Fischer, Jim Lambie, Raymond Pettibon, Elizabeth Peyton and Richard Prince.

Group exhibition: Implant

The UBS Art Gallery
1285 Avenue of the Americas @ 52nd Street
7 August 2008 – 31 October 2008

Curated by Jodie Vicenta Jacobson for The Horticultural Society of New York

IMPLANT is a contemporary art exhibition riffing on ideas presented by Michael Pollan in his book, The Botany of Desire. Artists in the exhibition are Darren Almond, Lothar Baumgarten, Judith Belzer, Dale Berning, Carol Bove, Stan Brakhage, Julia Margaret Cameron, Ian Campbell, Nick Cave, CAW + NG, Peter Coffin, Sharon Core, Ann Craven, Tacita Dean, William Eggleston, Roe Ethridge, Jane Freilicher, Robert Gober, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Amy Granat, Zach Harris, Susannah Hewlett, Carston Holler, Katie Holten, Ellsworth Kelly, Karen Kilmnik, Jude Miller, David Melrose, John O, Hiroko Ohno, Dennis Oppenheim, Edgar Orlaineta, Gabriel Orozco, Guiseppe Penone, Pipilotti Rist, Gino Saccone, Jim Sams, Hiraki Sawa, Roman Signer, Simon Starling, Hellen Van Meene, Klaus Weber, James Welling, Carol Woodin, Francesca Woodman.

Mixed reviews here and here and a press release here (PDF, 20KB).

Group exhibition: Courtesy Hans Kemna

De Hallen Haarlem
Grote Markt 16, Haarlem, NL
15 march 2008 – 8 june 2008

A selection from the photography collection of Hans Kemna. Over the last 20 years, Kemna, the doyen of Dutch film and theatre casting, has built up a collection of contemporary photography that focuses on ‘humanity’ in its many guises. Besides works by well-known Dutch photographers like Céline van Balen, Koos Breukel and Hellen van Meene, the exhibition also includes photographs by international stars like Wolfgang Tillmans. Beauty and sexuality form key themes – both in Kemna’s collection as a whole and in the present presentation.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog of photos by WassinkLundgren that document the Kemna collection as it hangs in his living room in Amsterdam.

Group exhibition: Van Zoetendaal Collections

The Hague Museum of Photography
Stadhouderslaan 43, The Hague, NL
22 March 2008 - 22 June 2008

In 2006 the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag acquired a major collection of photographs compiled by Amsterdam gallery owner and publisher Willem van Zoetendaal. The collections' more than 1000 items include not only early and previously unknown work by modern photographers of the calibre of Rineke Dijkstra, Koos Breukel, Blommers & Schumm, Hellen van Meene and Paul Kooiker, but also historic photographs taken by figures like Cas Oorthuys and George H. Breitner. In addition, the Van Zoetendaal Collection includes hundreds of pictures classifiable as ‘vernacular photography’: usually anonymous amateur shots and portraits taken by small local photographic studios like those of Gyula Kardos in Hungary, Georg Eckert in the former GDR and To Sang in the formerly working class and bohemian De Pijp area of Amsterdam. A wide selection of pictures from the collection will be on show.

Willem van Zoetendaal (1950) began his career as art director on a leading Dutch newspaper: the NRC Handelsblad. In 1991 he was appointed head of the Photography Department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. In November 2007 he closed his gallery on the Keizersgracht in Amsterdam.

More information.

Group exhibition: 'Viva Lolita' - Curated by James Putnam

Maddox Arts
52 Brook's Mews, London W1K 4ED, UK
14 March 2008 – 25th April 2008

For this exhibition James Putnam has been "looking for [..] images that best convey the notion of fading innocence and emerging sexuality in young teenage girls - or rather this sense of duality, the two diametrically opposed states of innocence and sexuality that make these images so ambiguous yet appealing."

Putnam ("a very good curator" and "someone very interesting" - Sadie Coles) is also the author of many books, including Art and Artifact: The Museum as Medium but also amazing books like The Ancient Egypt Pop-up Book!

More information (including the complete text from the press release) here.

Benefit Auction: Celebrating 15 years of Blind Spot

Hosted by David Zwirner
533 West 19th Street NYC 10011, USA
Thursday, April 10 2008
Auction Preview from April 8-10, 10am-6pm

Hellen van Meene has donated a work to this benefit auction hosted by David Zwirner. All proceeds will benefit Blind Spot Magazine, the magazine for photography-based fine art. A portfolio of Hellen van published in issue 19.

The inaugural benefit auction held in April 2006 at Phillips de Pury & Company was a great success, with 750 people in attendance and all 50+ lots sold. The proceeds generated provide much-needed operating funds and support for the magazine.

The 89 lots of work by artists from the last 15 years of Blind Spot include Robert Adams, Roger Ballen, Katy Grannan, Teun Hocks, Esko Männikkö, Vik Muniz, Stephen Shore, Alec Soth and Brian Ulrich.

Solo exhibition: I M Art, Soeul, South Korea

I M Art Gallery
2F, 651-8 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea (map)
6 March 2008 - 26 June 2008

I M ART presents the first solo exhibition of Dutch woman photographer Hellen van Meene. The opening reception is Thurday 6 March at 5pm.

Check out the Flickr photoset for photos of Hellen sightseeing & installing, and of some of the 30+ magazines that have written about this exhibition.

Group exhibition: John Everett Millais / Me, Ophelia

Van Gogh Museum
Paulus Potterstraat 7, Amsterdam, Netherlands
15 February 2008 - 18 May 2008

John Everett Millais (1829-1896) was the foremost painter of the English Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and Britain's most successful artist of the latter half of the 19th century. The exhibition, organised in collaboration with Tate Britain in London, comprises some 100 works and is the first monograph review since 1967 and the first exhibition since 1898 to cover all aspects of Millais' career.

Concurrently on show will be "Me, Ophelia", a selection of photographs by, amongst others, Rineke Dijkstra, Hellen van Meene and Inez van Lamsweerde. These works of contemporary photography display striking parallels with Millais' oeuvre and illustrate how the influence of Millais' famous Ophelia and other paintings still lingers on.

Theatre performance: Spring

Friday nights during the John Everett Millais exhibition (15 February - 18 May) will feature the theatre performance "Spring" by director Olivier Provily. View the digital flyer (in Dutch, PDF, 569 KB). There's also more info in English. Hellen van Meene was asked to create the image used to promote the performance.

Note from the webmaster: I have seen this performance and please be warned that Provily has been criticised for "idiosyncratic exercises" in what can be done with "concepts like slowness and silence".

Group exhibition: In Repose

Goldie Paley Gallery / The Galleries at Moore
Philadelphia, USA
January 26 - March 14, 2008

"In Repose" is drawn from the collection of Dennis and Debra Scholl and features women artists whose works in photography, video, sculpture and sound boldly explore femininity, identity, and sexuality. The exhibition includes historic figures such as Janine Antoni, Carolee Schneeman and Cindy Sherman whose photography, film and performance work from the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s represent the historical context for much of the work in the exhibition as well as works by a current generation of artists such as Tanyth Berkeley, Rineke Dijkstra, Katy Grannan, Naomi Fisher, Anna Gaskell, Catherine Opie, Pipilotti Rist, Meredyth Sparks, Hellen Van Meene, and Bettina Von Zwehl who use such traditional genres as self-portraiture, portraiture, and landscape to probe notions of female identity and the uncertain territory between adolescence and adulthood. The exhibition is accompanied by a tabloid publication.

The Scholls' collection, or at least works culled from it that are on view in Moore's Goldie Paley Gallery, comprises primarily photographic images, largely staged, of women who appear troubled, exposed, caught in dicey situations, or all three. (The Scholls' reaction when told their collection suggested a theme, which they reveal in the catalog's foreword, is fascinating: "We were dumbfounded when one curator described a main thread of the collection as 'women in peril' - we had never considered that concept when acquiring works.")

One such photo could be Helen van Meene's late-'90s image of a pensive young woman nude to the waist, her forearms and lower torso encircled (bound?) by a lacy skirt.

From a review by Edith Newhall.

More news can be found in the archive.