First edition, first and only printing. Hardcover. Fine light green silk cloth, with dust jacket. Photographs by Rineke Dijkstra. Foreword by Thomas C. Heagy. Statement by James N. Wood. Essays by Caroline Ehlers and James Rondeau. 72 pp. with 20 four-color plates, beautifully printed (one plate per sheet), by Meridian Printing, Rhode Island. 13 1/4 x 10 1/2 inches. Published on the occasion of the gift from the LaSalle Bank Photography Collection, Chicago to The Art Institute of Chicago of the complete set of Beach Portraits (formerly known as 'Bathers'), made between 1992 and 1998, by Rineke Dijkstra. Out of print (sold out shortly after released). Scarce.
CONDITION: New in New dust jacket.
Rineke Dijkstra might be the most important photographer of portraits alive today. She channels August Sander through her own poet-soul photographing youth with brutal, unyielding generosity. Her people emerge from beaches, hospital rooms, indefinable space, to haunt us with their imperfect beauty and their fierce necessity of existence. These photographs heroicize individuals in a brazen way. Dijkstra isn't content with confirming that banality is truth. She gives us the truth of fiction, the theatrics of the psychological complexity. She lets us way, way inside. The smudged blood on the collar of a bullfighter is in dialogue with the thin stream of blood running down a new mother's leg as she clutches her hours-old infant with an uncertainty that is astonishing. From Rineke Dijkstra: "In the end, it's the individual that I'm after."
From the publisher: "Tall, skinny, short, round, squat, awkward, slouched, tanned, bashful, and sometimes unknowingly beautiful, the adolescents in Rineke Dijkstra's Beach Portraits stand alone, the ocean rolling behind them. Clad in little more than bathing suits, these young people are striking to behold. Remarkably clear and formally classical, each subject is frontally posed and shot straight on; the resulting photographs participate in a cold, quasi-scientific categorization reminiscent of the work of August Sander and Thomas Ruff. Yet Dijkstra's pictures are not just that--there is also something of the eccentric in them, something that comes closer to Diane Arbus's images. Seen together, the complete series of 20 Beach Portraits creates a kind of collective portrait of the existential insecurity and awkward beauty of youth."