With elegance, vulnerability and candor, Dijkstra has created a portraiture style of profound encounter
Rineke Dijkstra is a master of capturing the individual in transition. Best known for her photographs of preadolescent bathers on the beach, she has also produced iconic images of mothers shortly after giving birth, teen soldiers in Israel, bullfighters bloodied after the fight. Dijkstra rigorously maintains a classical format, isolating her figures against stark backgrounds and posing them frontally or in three-quarters view. Within this strict format, the individuality of each sitter makes itself seen in their body’s particularities—the unique way their back slouches, their mouth sets, their hair falls across their eyes. Dijkstra uses a 4x5 field camera—a slow, laborious piece of equipment that creates, in the artist’s words, “a space where things can happen. The people I shoot really have to open themselves up to me. And I have to open up, too. It’s an interaction.”
Rineke Dijkstra: The Louisiana Book offers a retrospective survey of the life and work of the photographer. Scholars introduce her complete oeuvre chronologically in easy-to-read essays, providing information about her working methods and discussing her artistic development. Dijkstra’s best-known bodies of work are represented, including her long-term series of Beach Portraits (1992–2012), in a comprehensive section of color plates.
Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra (born 1959) is known for her stark portraits. She first attracted international attention in the late 1980s for her photographs of club-goers in the Netherlands, but found her breakthrough subject matter in 1992 when she was commissioned by a Dutch newspaper to take photographs exploring the idea of “summertime”—leading her to the renowned Beach Portraits series.