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Ad van Denderen

Press announcement 19.05.2010
West at Art Amsterdam with a solo exhibition of Ad van Denderen

Slow journalism* - a solo exhibition of Ad van Denderen at the art fair Art Amsterdam 2010. With a new, short publication including a text by Hans Aarsman and photos by Ad van Denderen.
At Art Amsterdam, West presents twenty images, most of them never exhibited before, selected from the extensive oeuvre of Ad van Denderen. Black-and-white as well as color photographs about people. This unique work of photography provides a fascinating series that will touch, surprise and be remembered. Especially for Art Amsterdam, West will release a short photo publication, featuring a personal text by Hans Aarsman (writer/photographer).

Ad van Denderen (NL 1943) is one of the leading Dutch photographers. Since 1965 he has become well-known for numerous reportages that he made abroad for magazines like Avenue, Geo, Stern, The Independent, NRC Handelsblad and Vrij Nederland. Unlike many photo journalists, Van Denderen is less interested in that one, unique news picture. With a slower, more contemplative way of working he attaches to a movement that is known internationally as 'slow journalism'.

For years he has focused on a limited number of current issues such as the problem of illegal migration and developments around the Mediterranean area. This working method resulted, in large intervals, in books and exhibitions such as Welcome to South Africa (1997), Peace in the Holy Land (2003), Go No Go (2003), So Blue, So Blue (2008) and Occupation soldier (2009).

Each project differs from the next one, not only in the issue that is brought up, but also because of the investigative approach of Van Denderen. The viewer can watch his perspective changing: from objective to almost obsessive. Color, brightness and composition enhance the informative aspects of the pictures. Human relationships always play the leading role even though the image only contains a deserted road with stones. But Van Denderen does not take a stand. He really hates ‘Palestinian women lifting their hands to heaven when they see a camera.’ Van Denderen avoids clichés and chooses his moments very carefully.

Van Denderen’s work has so far been exhibited in various museums (amongst others in the Dutch Photo Museum, FOAM, the Royal Tropical Institute, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Photo Museum Winterthur and the Bellevue Art Museum in Seattle). In recognition of his achievements in the field of photo journalism, in 2008 Van Denderen received the prestigious oeuvre award of the Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture (Fonds BKVB), in 2002 the Dick Scherpenzeel Award and in 2001 the Visa d'Or award. Recently he got into the list of Top 100 Dutch artists of the magazine Elsevier in thirtieth place.

* Slow journalism is a form of journalistic research that is based on a long term commitment to the subject. Slow journalism focuses on backgrounds and intensification instead of the immediate news that mass media is only interested in, as it seems.