This is archived content from a previous version of this website. Please go to homepage to visit the new website.

Missed moment for Dutch photos

Art Institute's exhibit too late, out of context; collection loses impact

2005-03-31, Alan G. Artner (Tribune art critic), Chicago Tribune

A review of the group exhibition In Sight: Contemporary Dutch Photography from the Collection of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Read this article (PDF / 20K / mirrored from here).

Anybody who wandered into an art museum showing contemporary photographs in the last decade is likely to have seen -- and seen again -- works resembling these. They have been inescapable.

That situation has exhausted for me the capacity to respond to the young people shot in color by Celine van Balen, Bertien van Manen, Hellen van Meene or the star among them, Rineke Dijkstra. I know I'm supposed to find the portraits of prepubescent girls, especially, haunting and vulnerable. But the photographs simply are not strong enough as aesthetic objects to wipe away the impressions left by all the epigones.