Erwin Olaf: Volume IIPhotographs by Erwin Olaf
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Erwin Olaf’s approach to storytelling is uniquely evocative and enticingly ambiguous. According to critic Francis Hodgson, Olaf’s images “lead us to a Stimmung (a sense of atmosphere) which is broad enough to repay many second readings of the pictures and so keep us viewers interested.”
In this presentation of his most recent work, Olaf expands on his established style of highly polished and stylized color studio images to include a series drawn from his sculptural video installation, Keyhole; a group of black-and-white images he has exhibited as carbon prints; and photographs created on location in Berlin—a departure from the constructed mise-en-scènes of earlier work produced in his Amsterdam studio.
Erwin Olaf: Volume II showcases the artist at the height of his powers as an artisan of atmosphere and a craftsman who uses high polish to both perverse and seductive effect.
Erwin Olaf (born in Hilversum, the Netherlands, 1959) is a Dutch photographer known for his highly stylized, daring, and often provocative work addressing social issues and taboos. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Johannes Vermeer Award (2011), a Lucie Award (2008), and Photographer of the Year in the International Color Awards (2006). His work is shown in museums and galleries around the world. Olaf also received a commission to design the new national side of the Dutch Euro, launched in 2013.
Francis Hodgson (essay), former head of the photographs department at Sotheby’s, is professor in the Culture of Photography at the University of Brighton, England. He is also the photography critic of the Financial Times.