The exhibition Futures Past & Present shows the work of four female photographers: Céline van Balen, Julie Greve, Esther Kroon and Helga Paris. The four have separate individual histories, but they also have something in common: they all show great talent, and the ascent – or demise – of their careers has been determined by unusual factors: personal circumstances, fate, or the time and place of their birth. The four are also linked by their exceptional ability to engage directly with their subjects, a skill revealed by their portrait work in particular. Their models are portrayed in all their strength and dignity, with subtle distinctions between personalities. That they did this so well may have something to do with the fact that they are women. As Van Balen once remarked: ‘Yes, I think our engagement has something to do with it. Men don’t usually get as close to their subjects as we do – and if they did it would have been much more of an effort.’ Van Balen, Greve, Kroon and Paris Van Balen and Kroon were part of a generation of Dutch photographers who gained international artistic reputations in the early 1990s; both their careers, however, came to a premature end. Helga Paris was born in 1938 in Gollnow, Pommeren, now Goleniów in Poland. As a result of the Cold War her remarkable oeuvre was long practically unknown west of the Iron Curtain; only now, in her old age, is Paris’ work being given the attention it deserves outside Germany. Futures Past & Present includes the graduation work of the promising young Danish photographer Julie Greve, whose distinctive work shows a quality and a talent for portraiture that is a match for Van Balen, Kroon and Paris.
Untill 9 June 2019
Huis Marseille, Museum for Photography
Keizersgracht 401 1016 EK Amsterdam
T: 020 531 89 89