Awoiska van der Molen ( b. 1972 in Groningen, the Netherlands) lives and works in Amsterdam. She has participated in numerous exhibitions at institutions including Pier24 Photography in San Francisco, Huis Marseille in Amsterdam, FoMu in Antwerp, Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam and Kyotographie in Kyoto. Her first major museum solo show was held at Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam in 2016. Her work is represented in public and museum collections such as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Museum of Photography in Seoul and Fotomuseum The Hague. Awoiska van der Molen graduated with a MFA in Photography at the St. Joost Academy, Breda in the Netherlands.

In 2017 van der Molen was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize and she was the recipient of the Larry Sultan Photography Award 2017. She 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' has been nominated for the Paris Photo / Aperture First Book Prize in 2014.

The practice of Awoiska van der Molen 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. 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. 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.

" ...The longing to return to a more essential state has been a reoccurring motif in my work. At first in my portraits and urban landscapes, both seemingly unspoilt by the fleeting outside world. And then, gradually, in the remote natural landscapes, which have been the focus of my work for the past eight years.
To reach this 'state', I ‘peel’ away the superficial presence of the fleeting now, of man and even of land itself, until I sense I’ve reached the core.
At times, I think of my work as the Monadnock — a geological rock, left behind after the soft material around it has been removed through a long process of erosion. Only the hardest stone, the core, remains."


Solo Exhibitions


2019     upcoming:
Annet Gelink Gallery    (Jan-Febr) Amsterdam
Museum Kranenburgh (Febr - June) Bergen, NH

Casemore Kirkeby Gallery 'Status'  San Francisco, US

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

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

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

Group Exhibitions

FOAM Amsterdam  'Loading… Works from the Foam Collection' *until Nov 18
Huize Fraenkendael 'The Image of a Private Collection' *until Dec 2
Victoria & Albert Museum Into the Woods: Trees in Photography, London *until April 22


Aperture Foundation Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, New York
Museum für Moderne Kunst  Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, Frankfurt, DE
The Photographers Gallery Deutsche Börse Photography Prize,  London, UK
Garage Rotterdam How to disappear completely, Rotterdam, NL
Pier 24 Photography The Grain of the Present, San Francisco

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

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

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

Huis Marseille, Museum for Photography The Rediscovery of the World, Amsterdam, NL
Museum Kranenburgh Wonder, Bergen, NL
Wetering Galerie The last Picture Show, Amsterdam, NL

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

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

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

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

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

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

GEM - Museum of Cont. Art Met Stip,  icm Fonds BKVB, Den Haag, NL

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

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

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

Awards / Nominations

Finalist: Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize London, 2017
Recipient: Larry Sultan Photography Award San Francisco, 2017
Nomination: Meijburg Art Commission | Unseen prize Amsterdam, 2016
Silver Medal: Best Books from all over the World: 'Sequester', Leipzig, 2015
Finalist: Paris Photo-Aperture First Book Prize ‘Sequester’, Paris, 2014
Winner: Hariban Award - Benrido collotype atelier, 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
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


Pier24 Photography, San Francisco
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

Gerrit Rietveld Academie Visiting lecturer, Amsterdam Oct 2018
Ecole Supérieure CEPV Visiting lecturer + workshop, Vevey CH, Sept 2018
Museo San Telmo Artist talk + Workshop, San Sebastian ES, Feb 2018
Ecole Supérieure CEPV Visiting lecturer + workshop, Vevey CH, Feb 2018
California College o/t Arts Lecture: Larry Sultan Visiting Artist Program. San Francisco 2017
De Donkere Kamer Artist talk, Brugge, Belgium 2017
The Photographers' Gallery in conversation with Anna Dannemann. London 2017
Ecole Supérieure CEPV Visiting lecturer / workshop, Vevey CH 2017
Hartfort NY photography MFA Visiting lecturer, Berlin 2016
AKI School of Arts External examiner, Eindhoven, NL 2016
Photobook Melbourne Gallery Artist talk, Melbourne 2016
FOAM Amsterdam Lecture ‘Sensing the Landscape’ 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


NY Times Magazine  'The Voyages Issue' Sept 2018
Hyperallergic 'Photographers Among the Trees, from Steichen to Bae Bien-U'
The Guardian Sean O' Hagan: 'The top 10 photography exhibitions of 2017' Dec 2017
Conscientious Jörg Colberg: 'Photobookreviews  W48/2017' Nov 2017
De Morgen Ewoud Ceulemans: 'Mijn stemming maakt het werk' June 2017
De Volkskrant Merel Bem: Lixenberg en van der Molen genomineerd March 2017
The Guardian Sean O' Hagan: '...the Deutsche Börse photography prize' March 2017 
De Standaard ‘Oorverdovend stille landschappen' Stefan Vanthuyne June 2016  
H ART ‘De intensiteit en stilte van plekken in foto’s vervat’ Sofie Crabbe June 2016 
See All This '10 hoogtepunten van Awoiska uit 2016 jaar' No.3 2016
Documentum The Instagram Series, Fall Line Press 2016  
Financial Times 'Snapshot': Blanco by Awoiska van der Molen. Jan 2016  
The Independent Magazine 'In the Frame' 5.3.16
Het Parool ’Geraakt door de geest van het landschap’ J.P. Ekker 19.3.2016  
De Volkskrant ‘Donker en zwart, zwart en donker’ Jeanne Prisser 16.2.2016  
NRC 'In Nederland zijn teveel prikkels' Daan van Lent  2016  
Unseen Magazine, Sean O’Hagan: ‘What is photography?’ 2015  
NRC ‘De verschrikking van de natuur’ Rianne v Dijck 13.8.2015
Conscientious 'Sequester' Jörg Colberg 2014
The Guardian, Sean O’Hagan: 'Bewitched by blackness...’ 2014
Photobookstore Magazine, Rodrigo Orrantia 'Sequester' 2014
De Witte Raaf, E.J. van Alphen: 'Time saturation..' Essay 2014  
Dagblad Trouw 'Verzinken in de natuur' J. de Wolf. 07.01.2014
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  

Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize London 2017
The Grain of the Present Pier 24 Photography, Text by Kim Beil. San Francisco 2017
Object Onder / Object Below Sanders Collection, Pieter & Marieke Sanders, 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  


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. The result was exhibited in a former samurai residence: Kousei-in. One set of 8 collotype prints present in the Victoria and Albert Museum - Prints collections in London.






Foam Museum visits Awoiska van der Molen at her studio while she's preparing for her exhibition 'Blanco' at Foam in
January 2016. Subtitles follow soon.