Since the early 1990s, Rineke Dijkstra has produced a complex body of photographic and video work, offering a contemporary take on the genre of portraiture. Her large-scale colour photographs and videos mainly of young, typically adolescent subjects, show subtle, minimal contextual details and encourage us to focus on the exchange between photographer and subject and the relationship between viewer and viewed. From the Beach Portraits of 1992 to the video installation BuzzclubMysterworld (1996-1997), Tiergarten Series (1998-2000), Israeli soldiers (1999-2000), and the single-subject portraits in serialtransition: Almerisa (1994-2005), Shany (2001-2003) and Olivier (2000-2003), the focus and strength of her oeuvre has been capturing what is both uniquely personal and universal about her subjects. More recently, Dijkstra has built upon her revelatory work in video from the mid 1990s. In The Buzz Club, Liverpool, UK/ Mystery World, Zaandam, NL (1996–97), and The Krazyhouse (Megan, Simon, Nicky, Philip, Dee), Liverpool, UK (2009), Dijkstra filmed teenage habitués of local clubs dancing to their favourite music. Two video works made in 2009 at Tate Liverpool expand the artist’s interest in the empathetic exchange between photographer and subject to include the affective response to artworks. In I See A Woman Crying (Weeping Woman) (2009), a group of school children engage with art, discussing their perceptions and reactions to a work by Pablo Picasso, while Ruth Drawing Picasso (2009) shows a girl pensively sketching a masterwork.
Rineke Dijkstra was born in Sittard, The Netherlands in 1959. She attended the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam from 1981-1986. She has been honoured with the Citibank Photography Prize (1999); the Werner Mantz Award (1994); and the Kodak Award Netherlands (1987) among others.
Rineke Dijkstra was recently the subject of a mid-career retrospective on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (2012). Other recent solo exhibitions include a 2005-2006 tour of Rineke Dijkstra, Portraits, which was on view at:
Galerie National du Jeu de Paume, Paris; Fotomuseum, Winterthur; Fundacio la Caixa, Barcelona; Stedelijk Museum CS, Amsterdam; and Rudolfinum, Prague, two solo shows at Marian Goodman Gallery, in Paris and New York (2010), Rineke Dijkstra: I See a Woman Crying at Tate Liverpool (2010) and earlier this year the Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK) Frankfurt showed the first comprehensive film retrospective of the Dutch artist’s work.