Dear Shaded Viewers,
An ASVOFF favourite, Erwin Olaf is 60 years old with 40 years of a career behind him. For the past 15 years he has been represented by the Galerie Rabouan Moussion. No question Erwin Olaf is having an incredible year with this month’s retrospective at the Rijksmuseum exhibiting a selection of his strongest works throughout his career. From February to June: the first retrospective as a double exhibition in the Pays-Bas at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and at the Fotomuseum Den Haag. In addition, there is his book: Erwin Olaf – I Am with 240 photos as well as his first series Chessmen and Blacks, up to his most recent made in 2018 at Palm Springs. The book is edited in 4 languages by Hannibal (Dutch and French), Aperture (english) and Koening Books (German). During this summer the Rijksmuseum will present a selection of his iconic works inspired by the paintings of Rembrandt, Vermeer and Breitner.
In celebration of 40 years of his career his last series Palm Springs is presented exclusively in Paris at Galerie Rabouan Moussion. The exhibition of photographs and videos is a celebration of 15 years of complicity between Erwin Olaf and Galerie Rabouan Moussion. Palm Springs is a triptyque of three cities in mutation: Berlin (2012), Shanghai (2017) and Palm Springs. Berlin was created at a time when Europe was putting freedom of expression into question, Shanghai, the hyper modern city examines the individual in the middle of 24 million inhabitants. Palm Springs is a reflexion on America in the 60’s.
Francis Hodgson wrote that “Olaf’s california shows many thorns and less optimism than in the previous series. Hodgson says that Palm Springs could be the third part of a trilogy or the third set of a new tone that is now Olaf’s. That he is no longer playing and that all three cities are poisoned in different ways, all betraying promise, leaving only profits and losses.”
Olaf had studied the photographs of Gordon Park, a different view of America than Norman Rockwell. “What interested me was the documentary style; I wanted to introduce a little more of the real world.” He loved the details of the locations that he photographed , like the lawns turning yellow because it was very hot and dry. That is the reality of our times where the climate is changing as we stay in our closed communities. Reality creeps into the paradise that we are so desperately trying to maintain. As a story emerged during the work and the selection of the photographs, I began to consider this as a parable about the distribution of wealth, so unjust and so unsustainable in the long run, between the different classes of our society.” Erwin Olaf
“What I would like people to see in my photographs is a perfect world with a crack inside. My job is to make the image attractive enough to make people want to watch the story I am telling them and then give them a slap.” Erwin Olaf
GALERIE RABOUAN MOUSSION
11, rue Pastourelle 75003 Paris
Du 18 mai au 27 juillet 2019
Except for 10 days…June 17-27th