About the Photographer
Dutch, b. 1959
Perhaps best known for her photographs of adolescents, Rineke Dijkstra highlights the transitory state between youth and adulthood. In the series Beach Portraits (1992-96), young bathers on beaches in Europe and the US evoke classical forms. In other series, Dijkstra photographs individuals after a monumental physical or emotional experience, such as Portuguese matadors still tattered and bloody from a bullfight and mothers shortly after giving birth.
Dijkstra’s photographs of young Israelis depict individuals in two parts: first, before they join the army, and then eight months later after starting training. Interested in the distinguishing characteristics of these individuals, who, as Israeli citizens, are required to join the army at age 18, Dijkstra creates visual comparisons with each diptych. Isolated against simple, muted backgrounds, the contextual details reside in the figures themselves, who reveal the subtleties of their personalities in their postures and expressions. In her portrait taken as she is joining the army (Maya, Induction Center, Tel-Hashomer, Israel, April 12, 1999), Maya suggests a dispirited demeanor with her slouched posture, ill-fitted uniform, and wary gaze. Wearing a blouse with laced detailing and displaying long, carefully combed hair, Maya’s portrait eight months into training (Maya, Herzilya, israel, November 21, 1999) reads much like a school portrait despite her impassive expression.
Born in Sittard, the Netherlands, in 1956, Rineke Dijkstra trained at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam from 1981-1986. Influenced by her career as a formal portrait photographer in the 1990s, Dijkstra began to form her own style. Her first solo exhibition took place in 1984 at de Moor in Amsterdam, and she has since appeared in the 1997 and 2001 Venice Biennale, 1998 Bienal de São Paulo, 1999 Biennale International di Fotografi in Turin, and the 2003 International Center for Photography's Triennial of Photography and Video in New York. Dijkstra’s work has been exhibited by countless museums and galleries internationally, including the Marian Goodman Gallery in both New York and Paris; Art Institute of Chicago; Museu d’Art Contemorani, Barcelona; Tate Modern, London; Guggenheim Museum, Spain; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Herzliya Museum of Art in Israel. She has held retrospectives at the Rudolfinum, Prague; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Soloman R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Dijkstra has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Kodak Award Nederland (1987), Art Encouragement Award Amstelveen (1993), Werner Mantz Award (1994), and the Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize (1998). Currently living in Amsterdam, Dijkstra frequently travels to find her subjects.