Monday 6 October 2008


I always keep my ear to the floor in terms of what Amsterdam´s Foam has to offer exhibition-wise, and having just looked through their diary it seems that they have some great shows lined up during the forthcoming months. Take note my art lovers.

19 September - 16 November 2008
Ishiuchi Miyako - Photographs 1976 – 2005

(The exhibition opened on September 18, 5.30 pm)

Foam presents the first European retrospective of works by the Japanese artist Miyako Ishiuchi (b.1947). She attracted attention at the 2005 Venice Biennale for her series Mother’s, but a cross-section of her work has never been shown before. The exhibition is a cross-section of the photographer’s works from the 1970s to the present. The exhibition is organized by Galerie Langhans in Prague, and includes photos from the series Yokosuka Story (1976–77), Apartment (1977–78), Endless Night (1978–80), (1988–89), 1906 to the Skin (1991–93), and Mother’s (2000–05).The curator of the exhibition is Machiel Botman. In conjunction, a book is being published by Manfred Heiting.

24 October 2008 – 18 January 2009
Helen Levitt – In the Street

(The exhibition opens on October 23, 5.30 pm)

This autumn Foam presents a retrospective of work by the famous American street photographer Helen Levitt (b. New York, 1913). Levitt portrays the dynamics of New York street life from 1930 onwards, paying special attention to the innocent and adventurous world of children at play.

In the 1940s, inspired by her friends and mentors Walker Evans and Henri Cartier-Bresson, Levitt took black-and-white photographs of the streets of New York that set the tone for a new documentary style of American photography. Her photos are visual poems in which form, colour and movement play an important part. The exhibition In the Street includes a short series of vintage photos on contact sheets that demonstrate how Levitt moved through the streets as she recorded the choreography of the people around her. Helen Levitt was a pioneer of colour photography. Alongside her familiar black-and-white shots, her famous dye-transfers (colour prints) occupy an important place in the exhibition.

24 October - 10 December 2008
Foam 3_h: Erik van der Weijde – Siedlung

(The exhibition opens on October 23, 5.30 pm)

As part of the Foam_3h exhibition series Foam presents Siedlung by photographer Erik van der Weijde. Siedlung, German for ‘settlement’, features 220 black-and-white photos of detached houses in southern Germany. In Nazi Germany in the 1930s, the National Socialist Party (NSDAP) set up a huge construction programme to provide Seidlung houses for workers who agreed to become party members.

7 November 2008 – 18 January 2009
Kees Scherer – Pictorial Stories by a Street Photographer

(The exhibition opens on November 6, 5.30 pm)

Kees Scherer (1920-93), born in Amsterdam, began taking photographs at an early age. When the Second World War ended he immediately started working for newspapers including Het Vrije Volk, Trouw, De Volkskrant and Het Algemeen Handelsblad, producing a hugely impressive body of work. Alongside photo reportages he created images for a large number of photo books. He was one of the founders of World Press Photo in 1955.

Scherer travelled to the United States, the Far East, Mexico and Israel as well as to practically every country in Europe. His fascination for the effects of light is an important aspect of his work.

The photos in the Foam exhibition are all vintage prints from the archives of the Kees Scherer Photo Archive Foundation.

21 November 2008 – 18 January 2009
Viviane Sassen – Flamboya

(The exhibition opens on November 20, 5.30 pm)

Foam presents an extensive survey of recent photos taken by Viviane Sassen while travelling through various parts of Africa. On one level these photos are an attempt by Sassen to recapture her childhood years in Africa, yet they also pose implicit fundamental questions about image, bias and the constraints of the photographic medium. Many of the portraits that Sassen made in countries like Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania were realised in intuitive collaboration with the subject. They are remarkable for their use of colour, for the idiosyncratic use of shade and their slightly surreal atmosphere. Sassen’s work contrasts sharply with Western stereotypes of Africa and its inhabitants. The exhibition features work for which Viviane Sassen won the 2007 Prix de Rome, together with new and previously unshown work.

13 February - 13 May 2009
Richard Avedon - Photographs 1946 – 2004

(The exhibition opens on February 12, 5.30 pm)

Foam is on the tour schedule of the major retrospective ‘Avedon Photographs 1946-2004’. Compiled in close cooperation with the Avedon Foundation by Denmark’s Louisiana Museum, this exhibition appears at just six venues worldwide and can be seen at Foam from 12 February to 13 May 2009. It features over 200 works by Richard Avedon presented in chronological order, from his first photos made in Italy in 1946 to his final portraits, made shortly before his death in 2004. This is the first retrospective of his work to appear in the Netherlands.

Richard Avedon (1923-2004) is recognised as one of the greatest American photographers of the twentieth century. For over fifty years he was a leading figure in photography, with a star status that never left him. He was the first to cross the boundaries of different photographic genres. Avedon made his name in the early 1950s as a fashion photographer, working for American magazines such as Harpers Bazaar and Vogue. Besides fashion photography, Avedon also took dark, emotionally charged portraits. Avedon was one of the great innovators of modern fashion portrait photography. His portraits were radical and intense, often contrasting sharply with the subject’s public image. Avedon created an endless series of portraits of statesmen, artists and actors, including Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, Buster Keaton, Charles Chaplin, Truman Capote, Henry Kissinger, Edward Kennedy, The Beatles, Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon. He photographed each of them in his own inimitable way: against a neutral white background, detached from time and place. All that remains is the penetrating, psychologically charged image of the individual looking back at the viewer.