Hendrik Kerstens. Paula
May 22 - July 28, 2013
The exhibition "Hendrik Kerstens. Paula" was held at the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation from 22nd of May till 28th of July 2013 within the framework of Russia The Netherlands Bilateral Year 2013 with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Russian Federation and the Moscow City Culture Department.
The curator of the exhibition was Olga Averyanova, historian of photography, Ph. D in the history of arts.
Hendrik Kerstens's Paula at the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation is the first solo exhibition of the Dutch artist in Russia. The show presented artist's series of female portraits. When Hendrik Kerstens took up photography he turned to a model very near at hand: his daughter Paula. She is an only model of his series. Kerstens one of those artists who are working on one project for years. His works are easy to recognize. Dressed or naked, with a gesture reminiscent of a blessing or with a pearl earring, always on a deep black background, serene face with porcelain skin and wide-opened eyes looking at the viewer. This all is Paula a daughter, a girl, a young lady.
Kerstens' works are a dialogue between cultural paradigms, they represent, a post-modern interpretation of the traditional visual techniques. Kerstens' portraits - is a kind of popular history of the old Dutch school of painting, arranged in a new way - through the new medium photo camera. Kerstens' works could be seen as a starting point for searching of lost values. This "masquerade" is meant to re-encode certain meanings, a kind of adaptation of "immutable values" in the modern world, which has lost some of these values recently. Keeping in touch with a certain cultural code (type of consciousness, age, style, particular works), the interpretation of a certain artistic gesture fits well into a new cultural context.
Hendrik Kerstens (b.1956, The Hague) is an autodidact who decided in 1995 to dedicate himself entirely to photography. He is well-known for his documentation of the important moments in his daughter Paula's life, which earned him a Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize in 2008 from the National Portrait Gallery, London. His portraits refer both to the Dutch and to the Italian Renaissance masters. He sees photography as a means of continuing the descriptive arts. The association with painting is emphasized by the sharpness of his photographs. Kerstens' works have been exhibited in Amsterdam, Brussels, London, New York, Los Angeles and Latin America. His photographs are a part of the collection of numerous of institutions such as the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and several well-known private collections. Snapshots were published in American Photo Magazine and on the cover of Domus and the New York Times Magazine.
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Organizers: Perspectiva Art (Netherlands), the Ekaterina Cultural Foundation
Curator: Olga Averyanova
With the support of: the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Russian Federation, Moscow City Culture Department