Park Avenue Armory
April 10 – April 13, 2014
P.P.O.W is pleased to present a solo booth of new work by Dutch photographer Ellen Kooi (b. 1962) at The AIPAD Photography Show, New York. This new collection of work expands upon Kooi’s interest in traditional Dutch landscape painting. Kooi’s dreamlike narratives are laden with art historical and literary references and possess a heightened sense of emotional tension expressed through the relationship between the character and his or her surroundings. These panoramas blur the distinction between fantasy and memory, creating a world that is at once surreal and familiar.
Kooi’s large-scale, theatrical photographs are carefully orchestrated using detailed prep sketches and thoughtful set design. Her photographs are created during daylight with large format cameras, intricate lighting and minimal post-production editing. Shot in the countryside surrounding the artist’s native Haarlem, the title of each work is drawn directly from the name of its location emphasizing the close ties between landscape and subject.
Among the works on view will be Langerak – Blauwe Boom, 2014 which portrays a young female in a tree. Created using a palette of muted greens and neutral hues with saturated bursts of color, the image evokes childhood fairytales with cinematic audacity. Langerak – Blauwe Boom possesses a perfect stillness that leaves the viewer with a feeling of foreboding. While the subjects of Kooi’s panoramas may appear to be at the mercy of their surroundings, a closer look at the work reveals that the landscape, too, is responding to its inhabitants. These displays of nature can be interpreted as a reflection of the subject’s inner turmoil.
Ellen Kooi was born in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands. She attended the Art Academy ABK Minerva in Groningen and has been a resident of the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. She has exhibited throughout Europe and the United States. A solo show of her work is currently on view at the Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire in Paris, France. Her work has also been shown at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland and in the Photography Biennale in Moscow. She lives and works in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Her newest catalog, Out Of Sight, was published by Filigranes Editions, 2010.