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Exhibition -

Ellen Kooi - Recent work

Ellen Kooi - Recent work

Exhibition overview:

19 Sep - 24 Oct 2009

TORCH gallery

On the occasion of its reopening under the new directorship of Mo van der Have, TORCH Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Dutch photographer Ellen Kooi. The show will open in the presence of the artist on Saturday the 19th of September from 5pm- 7pm and will run through the 24th of October 2009.

According to Spanish curator Octavio Zaya, who wrote the introduction to Kooi’s survey exhibition at the Casa Encendid, Madrid, last year: “Kooi shows us a world in which the ordinary silently slips towards fantasy.” With her large-scale panoramic views shot predominantly in the Netherlands, interest in Kooi has been growing over the past few years, both in her native country and abroad. With exhibitions in Paris, New York and Spain (to name a few) she is emerging as one of the most successful Dutch photographers working today.

With a background in dance and theatre photography, Kooi has developed a highly personal way of giving birth to images that explore myth, chance situations and the way in which human beings relate to their environment. At times documentary and, more often, staged, all of her photographs are imbued with an uncanny dreaminess – a view of the world that is at once familiar and strange.

Her exhibition of new works at TORCH showcases a new series of photographs taken in the Netherlands, Portugal and the United States of America. Usually featuring one individual set in an outdoor environment, they rely on visual strategies that have become Kooi’s artistic signature. Each natural setting comes to express the inner life of the character featured at its centre; in this way Kooi’s works can easily be interpreted as psychological portraits envisaged in a Romantic vein. Furthermore, Kooi’s distinctive shooting and editing techniques enable her to represent landscapes as the naked eye sees them yet fails to inerpret them: their breath and extension, their endlessness. Kooi’s photographs function both as an invitation to interrogate our own viewing habits and a starting point from which we can build up our own story.


Ellen Kooi (1962) was born in Leeuwarden and attended the art academy in Groningen before becoming a resident at the prestigious Rijksacademie in Amsterdam. Her work has been exhibited widely and forms part of major Dutch and international collections. She lives and works in Haarlem, the Netherlands.

The New Photowork exhibition will be running from the 19th of September through the 24th of October 2009 at TORCH Gallery in Amsterdam. The opening is scheduled on the 19th of September from 5pm-7pm, to coincide with the reopening of the gallery under new directorship of Mo van der Have, son of Adriaan van der Have.