About

Awoiska van der Molen graduated with a MFA in Photography at the St. Joost Academy, Breda in the Netherlands. Her practice is informed by an intuitive approach to image making, and her interest in the intangible qualities of her subjects. Her early works include poised portraits of women on the streets of New York, families sitting quietly together, or other works where her sitters’ attention lies beyond the camera. She continues this approach in her photographs of urban environments, producing uncanny pictures of anonymous houses and streets. Since 2009, van der Molen has taken black and white, abstracted images in nature. Spending long periods of time in solitude in remote landscapes, she slowly uncovers the identity of the place, allowing it to impress upon her its specific emotional and physical qualities. Using her personal experience within the landscape for her creative process, she instinctively searches for a state of being in which the boundary between herself and her surroundings blur. The few images that travel back with her offer a visceral and elusive ambiguity. Their complexity resists a generative reading of place by framing its essential parts anew. Van der Molen often employs a nuanced tonal palette that displaces the perceptions of space, distance and time: seafronts, trees, rock faces, leaves and mountains appear converge and disperse, completely still while simultaneously full of life. Without titles or any indications of location, her large-scale silver gelatine prints recreate her personal experiences in the landscape for the viewer and remain open to interpretation. Her compositions have both the painterly qualities of early Abstractionism and the fastidious attention to detail of the 1980s Düsseldorf School of Photography. Van der Molen’s pictures are printed by hand in the dark room, continuing the intimate, laborious sequence of slow processes and creating a unique stillness that emanates from her work.

Awoiska van der Molen ( b. 1972 in Groningen, the Netherlands) lives and works in Amsterdam. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions at institutions including Pier 24 in San Francisco, Huis Marseille in Amsterdam, FoMu in Antwerp, Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam and Kyotographie in Kyoto. In 2016 van der Molen has held her first major museum solo show at FOAM Amsterdam. Her work is represented in public and museum collections such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Museum of Photography in Seoul and The Hague Museum of Photography. Van der Molen is the recipient of the Larry Sultan Photography Award in 2017, received the Japanese Hariban Award in 2014 and was finalist at the Hyères Festival International de Mode et de Photographie in France in 2011. Her monograph Sequester was nominated for the Paris Photo / Aperture First Book Prize in 2014.

Education

2001-2003
MFA Photography Post St. Joost, Breda, NL

1999-2000
Hunter College Photography Department, New York, US

1998-2001
Minerva Art Academy Media department, Groningen, NL

1994-1997
Minerva Art Academy Interior Architecture, Groningen, NL

Solo Exhibitions

2016  
Unseen Photo Fair Kristof De Clercq gallery, Amsterdam, NL
Photobook Melbourne Gallery Melbourne, AUS
Kristof De Clercq Gallery Ghent, B
FOAM Fotografie Museum Blanco, Amsterdam, NL
Purdy Hicks Gallery London, UK

2015  
Unseen Photo Fair Kristof De Clercq gallery, Amsterdam, NL
Kousei-In Sequester in Collotypes, Kyotographie, Kyoto, JP

2006-2014  
Cultuurcentrum Hasselt Hasselt, B 
Alt. +1000 High Altitude, Rossiniere, CH
FOAM 3h Maintained Ground, Amsterdam, NL
Natuur Museum Groningen Portretten, Groningen, NL

Group Exhibitions

2017
The Photographers Gallery Deutsche Börse Photography Prize,  London, UK
Pier 24 Photography The Grain of the Present, San Francisco, USA

2016  
The Hague Museum of Photography Nacht ontwaakt, Den Haag, NL
Kranenburgh Museum Black. From charcoal to high-res, Bergen, NL
The Library Project Phototropism, Dublin, IRL
Dubai Photo Exhibition Dubai, UAE
Stedelijk Museum Adition, schenking Piet & Marieke Sanders  Amsterdam, NL

2015
FoMu Antwerpen My Flat Land: on photography and landscape, Antwerp, B
Stedelijk Museum The Best Dutch Book Designs 2014, Amsterdam, NL
Espace Vessy, Glaciers en péril & Alt.+1000, Vessey, CH

2014  
Musee des-Beaux-Arts L’Art, c'est le livre, Le Locle, CH
GEM Museum of Contemporary Art Fotoverhalen, Den Haag, NL
Kristof de Clercq Gallery Ghent, B

2013  
Huis Marseille, Museum for Photography The Rediscovery of the World, Amsterdam, NL
Museum Kranenburgh Wonder, Bergen, NL

2012  
Noorderlicht 'Pays/Paysage Land/Landscape Pays/Paysage (duo w. Rob Nypels), Groningen, NL

2011  
Foam Amsterdam Pop in, Amsterdam, NL
Wetering Gallery (duo w. Wijnanda De Roo), Amsterdam, NL

2010  
DZ Bank Frankfurt A Touch of Dutch, Frankfurt, DE
Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam Quickscan #01, Rotterdam, NL
Central Museum Utrecht In your Face, Utrecht, NL
25th Nadežda Petroviæ Memorial Possibilities of Choice, Ĉaĉak,Serbia

2009  
GEM Museum of Contemporary Art Still lives, Den Haag, NL
Gallery Lacen I spy with my little eye ( w Marijn Akkermans, Wafae Ahalouch), Paris, FR

2008  
Museum de Fundatie Collection Isala Klinieken, Zwolle, NL
Wetering Galerie Drawings and photographs, Amsterdam, NL
Rencontres de la Photographie d'Arles Dutch selection Nuit d' Europe, Arles, FR
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Descubrimientos PHE, Madrid, ES
TENT. Rotterdam La Luna Piena, Rotterdam, NL

2007  
CBK Rotterdam Macht van de Nacht, Rotterdam, NL
Loods 6 De Bagagehal, De Salon, Amsterdam, NL
Historic Museum Rotterdam Inspiratie Rotterdam, Rotterdam, NL
Resy Muijsers Contemporary Art Gallery Tilburg, NL

2006  
GEM - Museum of Contemporary Art Met Stip icw Fonds BKVB, Den Haag, NL

2004  
The Hague Museum of Photography De Donkere Camera (w Dirk Braeckman, Michael Ackerman), Den Haag, NL
Amsterdam Art Fair 12 portretten voor de Haagse Schouwburg, Amsterdam, NL

2003  
Photofestival Naarden Civilians in Uniform, Naarden, NL
B92-REX Civilians in Uniform, Belgrade, Serbia

2001  
Noorderlicht Fotomanifestatie satellite program, Groningen. NL
Bertha - Karl Leubsdorf Gallery Think one way, New York, US

Awards / Nominations

Recipient Larry Sultan Photography Award San Francisco, 2017
Shortlist Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize London, 2017
Nomination Meijburg Art Commission | Unseen prize Amsterdam, 2016
Best Books from all over the World Silver Medal for 'Sequester', Leipzig, 2015
Paris Photo-Aperture First Book Prize ‘Sequester’ shortlist, Paris, 2014
Grand prize winner Hariban Award Kyoto, 2014
Winner Harry Pennings Prize - Eindhoven, 2012
Finalist Hyères International Festival of Fashion & Photography Hyeres, 2011
Winner Alt.+1000 - Festival Photography Montagne, Rossiniere, 2011
Nomination Dutch-Doc Award Rotterdam, 2010
Residency, grant: Lyset I Varanger Vadso, 2009
Nomination Descubrimientos, Photo Espana Madrid, 2008
Finalist Plat(t)form 08, Fotomuseum Winterthur Winterthur, 2008
Nomination Core of Industry, Int. photography Award Reggio Emilia, 2008

Collections

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Museum for photography, Seoul
Huis Marseille - Museum for Photography, Amsterdam
Neuflize Vie ABN AMRO, Paris
Fotomuseum Den Haag
FOAM, Amsterdam
Isala Kunst collectie, Zwolle
ING Collection
Rabobank Art Collection
De Brauw Blackstone Collection
Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and various private collectors

Related activities

The Photographers' Gallery AvdM in conversation with Anna Dannemann, London 2017
Ecole Supérieure CEPV Visiting lecturer / workshop, Vevey CH 2017
Hartfort NY photography MFA program Visiting lecturer, Berlin 2016
LeBoudoir 2.0 Artist talk, Arles Photofestival w. Ilka Kramer and Bärbel Praun, FR 2016
AKI School of Arts External examiner, Eindhoven, NL 2016
Photobook club Artist talk, Wellington, NZ 2016
Photobook Melbourne Gallery Artist talk, Melbourne 2016
FOAM Amsterdam Lecture ‘Sensing the Landscape’, with art historian Maartje vd Heuvel, philosopher Eric Brinckmann 2016
De Donkere Kamer Artist talk, Antwerp 2016
UNSEEN Photo fair ‘Premiere Talk’ with Kim Knoppers, Amsterdam 2015
De Donkere Kamer Artist talk, Rotterdam 2013
Minerva Art Academy Visiting lecturer, Groningen NL

Articles / Press

De Volkskrant Lixenberg en van der Molen genomineerd 14.3.17
The Guardian '...the Deutsche Börse photography prize'. 1.3.1
De Standaard ‘Oorverdovend stille landschappen' Stefan Vanthuyne 3.6.16  
H ART ‘De intensiteit en stilte van plekken in foto’s vervat’ Sofie Crabbe 2.6.16 
See All This '10 hoogtepunten uit 2016 jaar' No.3 2016
Documentum The Instagram Series, Fall Line Press 2016  
Financial Times 'Snapshot': Blanco by Awoiska van der Molen. 22.1.16  
The Independent Magazine 'In the Frame' 5.3.16
Het Parool ’Geraakt door de geest van het landschap’ J.P. Ekker 19.3.16  
De Volkskrant ‘Donker en zwart, zwart en donker’ Jeanne Prisser 16.2.16  
NRC 'In Nederland zijn teveel prikkels' Daan van Lent  2016  
Unseen Magazine ‘What is photography?’ Sean O’Hagan 2015  
NRC ‘De verschrikking van de natuur’ Rianne v Dijck 13.8.15
Conscientious 'Sequester' Jörg Colberg 2014
The Guardian 'Bewitched by blackness...’ Sean O’Hagan 2014
Photobookstore Magazine 'Sequester' Rodrigo Orrantia 2014
De Witte Raaf 'Time saturation..' Essay E.J. van Alphen 2014  
Dagblad Trouw 'Verzinken in de natuur' J. de Wolf. 07.01.14
Scrapped Magazine Fine art magazine, NY 2013 
Dagblad vh Noorden 'De overweldigende kracht van het landschap', I. Pietersma 2012  
'5' . 5 different artists - by Studio Pure Beograd 2011
P/f magazine Portfolio #3 Edie Peters 2010  

Catalogues
Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize London 2017
Object Onder / Object Below Sanders Collection, Amsterdam 2015
The Marseillaise collection catalogue Fotomuseum Huis Marseille 2014
Fotoverhalen collection catalogue, Fotomusem Den Haag 2014
Alt+1000 High Altitude catalogue, by Nathalie Herschdorfer 2011 
Hyeres 26th International Festival Photography catalogue, Raphaelle Stopin 2011  
Quickscan #01 Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam, Frits Gierstberg 2010
De laatste fotograaf? AKV/St. Joost, Breda 2009  

Videos

Short film-column initiated by Joep de Boer
Camera: Joep de Boer
Sound: Tom Polkamp
Noordrijn-Westfalen, Germany 2015

 

In 2014 Awoiska van der Molen was the first recipient of the Japanese Hariban Award and was invited to Kyoto. Here she collaborated with master craftsmen of the Benrido Collotype Atelier to produce collotype prints of eight of her works, see the short docy here. The result was exhibited in a former samurai residence: Kousei-in. Later in 2017 these collotype prints will be present in the Victoria and Albert Prints collections in London.