Exhibitions, Fine Art, Photobooks

Erik Kessels’ Best of 2016 and 2017

Installation shot from Olaf Breuning's retrospective at NRW Forum, Dusseldorf © Erik Kessels

Installation shot from Olaf Breuning's retrospective at NRW Forum, Dusseldorf © Erik Kessels

The Dutch creative director, artist and curator on the best photographic projects of 2016 and 2017

1. Olaf Breuning retrospective in NRW Forum Düsseldorf 11 June-21 August
This was a very exciting exhibition from the Swiss artist photographer Breuning. He has accumulated a great body of work over the years, but never brought together in such a way.

2. Piero Martinello’s Radicalia, self-published
Martinello made a stunning document of five groups of people living in the fringe of society called Radicalia. The photographs are divided in five chapters and show fools, ravers, criminals, devouts and cloistered nuns. Each chapter is photographed in different way, fitting to the subject.

3. Ria van Dijk shot for the 80th time
The 96-year-old lady from Tilburg (Holland) got famous for shooting her own portrait in a funfair year after year [as seen in KesselsKramer Publishing’s In Almost Every Picture #7]. This year, on 22 July, she shot a photograph for the 80th time. I was there next to her to hold the gun steady!

ria-van-dijk

Ria van Dijk (holding the gun) and Erik Kessels (standing to her right) at her 80th fun-fair self portrait. Image courtesy Erik Kessels

4. Porsche Rainbow photo series by Les Krims
On a sunny afternoon in 1973, a friend sprayed Krims’ new car with water, creating small rainbows which he photographed. The work is deadpan, straightforward and totally unnecessary. This is always the best work for me, so I acquired a set of prints from the series.

5. Thomas Sauvin’s XIAN, self-published
The absolute highlight for me in 2016 is the multiple/book XIAN that Thomas Sauvin produced. The book is a remake of a former storage file folder made by Chinese women that repaired clothing. The large format book contains numerous hidden compartments that Sauvin for this occasion filled with his own collection of Chinese photographs. The book is made by hand and takes two months before it’s finished. Sauvin is planning to make 200 of them.

In 2017 I’m looking forward to:
The two retrospective exhibitions of my own work that will take place next year. First venue is Camera in Turin (mid next-year) and in August all the work is on show at NRW Forum Düsseldorf. Sorry for the self-promotion!

FEBRUARY 2017 ISSUE: Tales of the City: Richard Renaldi’s overture to New York is our February 2017 cover story. Skate photography legend French Fred provides a fresh take on urban form, Dayanitah Singh navigates India’s industrial legacy, and Mark Neville records children at play, from the East End of London to Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. Plus we speak to Richard Mosse about his large-scale work debuting at The Barbican, and we give our verdict on the Canon EOS 5D Mk IV. It’s available to order online now.

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