Aperture is pleased to release a new limited-edition photograph by Dutch artist Hellen van Meene, in conjunction with the publication of The Years Shall Run Like Rabbits, the most comprehensive presentation of the artist’s work to date. One of the leading Dutch photographers of her generation, Van Meene is well-known for her portraits of boys and girls on the cusp of adulthood. Characterized by her exquisite use of light, formal elegance, and palpable psychological tension, her depictions demonstrate a clear aesthetic lineage to seventeenth-century Dutch painting. Carefully posing her subjects in their environments, Van Meene captures the intimacy of the photographer–subject relationship, emphasizing their fragility and photographing them at their most introspective moments. Paeonia, 2015, is part of a recent series in which Van Meene depicts girls’ faces covered entirely by curtains of sleek hair brushed forward to conceal any expression or facial identification. In contrast to earlier works, where the details of bodies and faces are laid bare, here our gaze is denied. The combination of Van Meene’s instinctive understanding of the universality of adolescent experience, and the highly intimate collaborations between the photographer and her models, makes for powerful portraits that resonate long after viewing. The Years Shall Run Like Rabbits will be the subject of a major exhibition at The Hague Museum of Photography, opening August 29, 2015.

Hellen van Meene (born in Alkmaar, the Netherlands, 1972) studied photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the collections of major museums around the world, including the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Art Institute of Chicago; Brooklyn Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She is represented in New York by the Yancey Richardson Gallery.


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