Blanco. Soloshow Awoiska van der Molen in Photography Museum FOAM, Amsterdam.
Foam starts the new year with Blanco, the first major museum-based solo exhibition by Awoiska van der Molen (b. Groningen, 1972), featuring the monochrome landscape photography she has been working on since 2009. Van der Molen’s work, which was shown in 2007 in Foam 3h, garnered a great deal of praise last summer at the Unseen Photo Fair, where she presented new work. Foam shows a broad selection of her handmade gelatin silver prints, mostly in large format.
The exhibition Blanco is the result of long periods of isolation, in which Awoiska van der Molen penetrates deep into the essence of the remote world in which she creates her photos. Far removed from a society racing ever onwards, she takes time to experience the landscape in a new manner, beyond first appearances. She moves slowly there, returns repeatedly and by doing so makes these unknown places her own. This gradual and solitary working process continues in the darkroom. Her often profoundly black baryta prints contain mysterious contrasts between darkness and light. Notions of time, day and night seem non-existent.
In 2007 Awoiska van der Molen’s work was shown in Foam 3h in the form of the black-and-white series Maintained Ground, which concentrated on abandoned places in and around the city. Her work is always mysterious, hushed and devoid of people. Van der Molen studied various subjects including architecture and photography at the Academie Minerva Beeldende Kunst & Vormgeving in Groningen. Her first photobook, Sequester, published in September 2014, was nominated for the Paris Photo / Aperture First Book Prize and won the silver medal in the ‘Most Beautiful Book in the World’ competition at the Leipzig Book Fair. Awoiska van der Molen is represented by Kristof de Clercq Gallery in Ghent and Purdy Hicks Gallery in London.