Ed van der Elsken (1925–1990) isn’t as famous as he should: he was undoubtedly the most Dutch photographer of the 20th century and the first to choose the street as his arena. His work now is considered on the same level of figures like Robert Frank, William Klein and Lee Friedlander and his legacy is a source for inspiration for many contemporary artists. His street photos, from Amsterdam, Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo are directed and “staged” through technique and composition.
Van der Elsken became an international sensation with “Love on the Left Bank”, a photographic novel inspired by his own life about a group of young bohemians leading an aimless life in post-war Paris. More than twenty books followed along with numerous films and documentaries.
Jeu de Paume, in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, is paying him a tribute with “Camera in Love”, the most comprehensive retrospective of Ed van der Elsken’s work in twenty-five years. After Amsterdam and Paris, the exhibition will travel to the Fundación Mapfre in Madrid. The exhibition focuses on van der Elsken’s unique qualities as a photographer, film- maker and producer of books, and on his experiments with different forms of presentation. Van der Elsken loved experimenting, not only in his photographs, books and films but also in his remarkable exhibitions and the audiovisuals he made from the 1970s onwards.
Jeu de Paume, 1 Place dela Concorde. Paris 8eme.
From June 13th to September 24th.