Ed van der Elsken – Camera in love

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Exhibition | Heritage | Photography

The Stedelijk presents the largest overview of the photographic and filmic work of Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken (1925-1990) in twenty five years. A unique figure, Van der Elsken was renowned as a street photographer, and is recognised as the most important Dutch photographer of the 20th century.

Van der Elsken’s books, combined with his films, are the core of his oeuvre and the exhibition’s starting point. Featuring book dummies, contact sheets, sketches and other materials, the exhibition explores how the books were made, and reveals Van der Elsken’s working processes. A selection of film fragments and slide projections accentuate his significance as a filmmaker, and the relationship between his films and photographic work. At the heart of the retrospective are over 200 iconic photos, in both black and white, and colour.

Ed van der Elsken was a unique figure. The first true Dutch street photographer, he roamed cities like Paris, Amsterdam, Hong Kong and Tokyo seeking out colourful personalities, head-turning young women and wayward youth. Ed van der Elsken both chronicled, and influenced, the Zeitgeist. In his work, he developed a bold, unconventional and personal style. Van der Elsken’s presence resonates throughout his work: he cared about making a personal connection with the people he photographed and, like a playful art director, often staged situations, too.

Exhibition Ed van der Elsken – Camera in love
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
February 4 until May 21,  2017

Photos: © Ed van der Elsken
Photos exhibition: Gert Jan van Rooij

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