The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, April 20, 2014


"Bertien van Manen: Let's sit down before we go" on view at Foam
Tomsk Siberia.© Bertien van Manen.
AMSTERDAM.- This spring Foam presents the solo exhibition Let's Sit Down Before We Go by Bertien van Manen (1942). More than 60 photos are on show, created between 1991 and 2009. During that time, Van Manen regularly and extensively travelled with a small 35mm camera through Russia, Moldavia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Tatarstan and Georgia. She stayed for long periods with the people she met on her travels, learned their language and usually became friends with them. This produced intimate and sometimes tender photos resulting from a personal and sincere relationship. In Bertien van Manen's humanistic approach, photographer and subject are equals and the mutual respect is palpable.

The title of the exhibition, Let's Sit Down Before We Go, refers to an old Russian custom: before you leave on a journey, take a moment to think about where you come from, where you are going and why. This was also the case for Bertien van Manen. Since 2010, she has travelled far less due to her personal circumstances. So she took time to look back on her projects and travels. Together with English photographer Stephen Gill, she sorted through more than 15,000 negatives. She was surprised to see that time had nearly stood still: life outside the big cities seemed to have changed hardly at all in her photos.

Van Manen's photos are intimate. Take Pjotr and his family. They look relaxed standing there in the snow in their pyjamas and bare feet: posing for a photographer they have confidence in. You can see that in Pjotr's smile as well as in the two men peering from the porch in an easy way. Or look at Vlada, sitting in her kitchen, surrounded by her possessions: the teapot she's just poured from, the flowers she loves, her painting that she gazes at every day. The personal atmosphere of the photos is reinforced by the soft, nearly flat palette of colours. Moreover, the photos are often slightly odd. What is that boy doing on top of the cabinet? And why is someone sitting in an empty cinema wearing a cap? That slight absurdity is not something Van Manen directs; it's something she just happens to encounter.

Bertien van Manen started out as a fashion photographer - and she still has an eye for detail and pattern - but inspired by Robert Frank's book The Americans (1958), she decided on a more documentary approach. For a time she photographed in black-and-white, but she changed her style radically in the early 1990s. From that point on, she travelled with great regularity through Eastern Europe and Asia. Her many travels and intensive contact with the people she met resulted in the book A Hundred Summers, a Hundred Winters in 1994. A logical follow-up was East Wind West Wind (2001), which was shot in China. In 2005 Van Manen published Give Me Your Image, comprised of photos of interiors in which the residents had placed a private photo of their own. Let's Sit Down Before We Go (2010) is her most recent photo book. The character of this book is less documentary than her earlier books and therefore allows more room for the viewers' imagination.

The work of Bertien van Manen was in numerous solo and group exhibitions including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), The Photographers Gallery (London) and Photo Museum Winterthur. Her work is included in major international collections such as Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), The Museum of Modern Art (New York), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Maison Européenne de la Photographie (Paris) and The Metropolitan Museum of Photographie (Tokyo). Bertien van Manen lives and works in Amsterdam.

Let sit down before we go, by Bertien van Manen can be seen from 19 March to 24 June 2011 at Foam.



Today's News

March 21, 2012

Japanese Masterpieces From The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston travel to Tokyo

Kroeller-Mueller Museum confirms through new X-Ray technique that still life is by Vincent van Gogh

Israel Museum receives major gift of 200 photographs by documentary photographer Eugène Atget

Sotheby's New York to offer property from the Estate of Theodore J. Forstmann

Mystery of the gold crown given to Queen Victoria; may not be made by the Incas

Last privately held object from Captain Cook's collection donated to UBC Museum of Anthropology

Diana's Kensington Palace, part museum, part royal abode, reopens to public

Antik A.S. in Istanbul to offer monumental masterpiece by artist Erol Akyavas

Up to snuff: Success at the Chinese snuff bottle auction at Bonhams in New York

Exhibition of new work by Brazilian artist Iran do Espírito Santo opens at Sean Kelly Gallery

"Light Works: Dan Flavin and Robert Irwin" opens at Stanford University's Cantor Arts Center

Neutra prototype to be sold by the family to benefit restoration of Neutra residences

Affirmation Arts presents unique vintage gelatin silver prints of Andy Warhol

"Bertien van Manen: Let's sit down before we go" on view at Foam

Cambridge connections: Photographs by Antony Barrington Brown on view at the National Portrait Gallery

Dutch Flowers: 17th-century floral splendour opens at Rijksmuseum Schiphol

Show of new pavilions and pavilion models by Dan Graham at Lisson Gallery

Museum of Glass names Susan Warner Executive Director/Curator

Desecration of Quran, mosques shocks Tunisia

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- 'World's oldest message in a bottle', tossed in sea 101 years ago, reaches granddaughter

2.- East-West/West-East: Qatar unveils desert sculpture by American artist Richard Serra

3.- Ming-era 'chicken cup' sells for $36.05 million breaking record for Chinese porcelain

4.- United States pastor Kevin Sutherland convicted over Damien Hirst fake paintings

5.- Major exhibition at Pinacothèque de Paris explores the myth of Cleopatra

6.- Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles opens with inaugural exhibition "Van Gogh Live!"

7.- Landmark exhibition opens in New York exploring the ancient kingdoms of Southeast Asia

8.- Palm-sized scroll that mentions Jesus's wife is ancient: Harvard Theological Review

9.- Hitler's wife Eva Braun may have had Jewish ancestry: British television documentary

10.- Bonhams to sell Madame de Pompadour's favourite porcelain which surfaced in Devon after 350 years



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site