A RETROSPECTIVE of work by celebrated Dutch photographer Hellen van Meene, entitled The Years Shall Run Like Rabbits, opens next month at Fotomuseum Den Haag. Van Meene is known for her formally staged, unsettling portraits of gauche adolescent girls seemingly lost in thought.
Born in 1972 Hellen van Meene graduated from the Rietveld Academie (Amsterdam) in 1996 and came to international attention when she was selected as one of the finalists in The Citibank Private Bank Photography Prize 2001, The Photographers’ Gallery, London. Since then she has shown widely and her work has been acquired by major museums in the Netherlands and around the world such as Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Victoria & Albert Museum, London and MoMA, New York.
Van Meene began by taking pictures of young girls of her acquaintance but now her work includes “boys, still lifes, dogs and other animals”.
Her photographs take the form of small-format prints which enhance the intense intimacy of work and also forces the viewer to come close to look at them. The retrospective at the Hague Museum of Photography, consisting of over 90 photographs, is accommodated in six vivid, enclosed spaces. It extends from Van Meene’s earliest photographic works, produced in 1994, to her most recent images, never previously seen in the Netherlands.
The exhibition is accompanied by a book of the same name, containing an essay by Martin Barnes, Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The publication is available in Dutch (Ludion, ISBN 978-94-9181-932-2), English (Aperture, ISBN 978-1-59711-317-5) and German (Schirmer/Mosel, ISBN 978-3-8296-0717-9).
by Caroline Simpson
Hellen van Meene, The Years Shall Run Like Rabbits, Fotomuseum Den Haag, August 29 – November 29, 2015Tags: Den Haag > Hellen van Meene > Holland