National Gallery of Art – Lectures on Photography

The National Gallery of Art presents the



Rineke Dijkstra – 

January 15, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.

Rineke Dijkstra, artist

East Building Auditorium

For more than two decades, the Dutch artist Rineke Dijkstra (b. 1959) has been celebrated for her penetrating portraits that strive to reveal, as she has said, “the extraordinary quality of the ordinary.” Trained at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam (1981–1986), she worked as a freelance portrait photographer until the early 1990s when, on the last day of a two-month break from her commercial practice, she was involved in a serious bicycle accident. During her recovery she decided to embark on her own style of portraiture. Seeking portraits that express an emotional depth, she first experimented with taking a self-portrait immediately after swimming a rigorous set of laps that were part of her rehabilitation program. Too exhausted to pose, she stands in front of her camera, her face flushed and her hands over her mouth. She subsequently sought situations where her subjects were caught in transitional states of being.

Dijkstra initially received acclaim for a group of photographs of adolescents made on beaches around the world from 1992 to 2002. Formally, her comparative series resembles classical portraiture—frontally posed figures isolated against minimal backgrounds—and in some sense follows the tradition of August Sander, the early- and mid-twentieth-century chronicler of occupational typologies in Germany. Dijkstra’s engaging photographs have reinvigorated the genre of portraiture.

Her awards and honors include being shortlisted for the Prix Pictet in photography (2014), the Citibank Photography Prize, London (1998), and the Werner Mantz Prize for Photography, Maastricht, the Netherlands (1994). Her work is represented in the Gallery’s collection by I See a Woman Crying (Weeping Woman), a three-channel HD video with sound, and five chromogenic prints, which are on view in the exhibition Rineke Dijkstra through July 16, 2017. (Lecture Information) (Arnold Newman Lecture Series on Photography)

Rineke Dijkstra, Self-Portrait, Marnixbad, Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 19, 1991, 1991, chromogenic print, printed 1999, National Gallery of Art, Gift of The Heather and Tony Podesta Collection, in Honor of the 25th Anniversary of Photography at the National Gallery of Art, 2014.150.3

Events are free and open to the public. Seating is available on a first-come, first-seated basis. Registration is not required.

The 2017 winter/spring lecture program at the National Gallery of Art brings together distinguished artists, curators, and scholars, including artist Rineke Dijkstra, who is delivering The Arnold Newman Lecture Series on Photography,Sunday, January 15. For a full listing of upcoming lectures and book signings, click on