Museum Kranenburgh presents solo exhibition ‘Twist’ by photographer Bastiaan Woudt
In the solo exhibition Twist, Museum Kranenburgh presents studio and travel photography by photographer Bastiaan Woudt through 18 September 2022. Twist’ is the first museum exhibition featuring the Bergen-raised Woudt, who in recent years has managed to break through internationally with his iconic and timeless black-and-white portraits. His solo exhibition fits in with Kranenburgh, which is keen to provide a platform for exceptional Bergen-based talent whose work relates to international developments interestingly and successfully.
Inspired by historical examples and using modern digital techniques, Woudt evokes the atmospheres of traditional analog photography. At the same time, his photographs are contemporary and unquestionably his own. His portraits and travel photography are emphatically about form, structure, and materiality; yet they are based on very different working processes. Bastiaan Woudt – Twist comprises approximately twenty-five large-format works from international collections belonging to galleries, private individuals and institutions, and can be seen until 18 September 2022 in Museum Kranenburgh’s new building. A special public program has been developed to accompany this exhibition.
“My exhibition at Museum Kranenburgh is a dream come true. All the more so because I grew up in Bergen and so I know the museum well.” – Bastiaan Woudt
Essence in black and white
Inspired by famous photographers such as Man Ray, Irving Penn, and Richard Avedon, self-taughtBastiaan Woudt began photographing over ten years ago. Following in the footsteps of these analog masters, Woudt creates contemporary studio photography using digital techniques. He rapidly acquired international fame with his work, which can be recognized by its combination of powerful black-and-white contrasts and, at the same time, a velvety texture.
According to the photographer, color only distracts from the image. The graphic power of photography, the lines, shapes, and textures are best appreciated without color, according to Woudt. For him this is the essence of photography: an image in black and white takes away a piece of reality. Woudt is not looking for a realistic representation of a place, person, or object. He wants to ‘take the viewer with him’ in an image, and let him discover his own ideas and feelings about it.
Form structure and materiality
It is his studio work, among others, with which Woudt has made his international breakthrough in recent years. The clear lines and circular objects in his portraits characterize ‘a real Bastiaan Woudt’ and emphasize that his images revolve around form, structure, and materiality. This also applies to his travel photography. Yet Woudt’s working method during his travels is completely different from that in his studio. Often when traveling he has only a few seconds to capture an image, whereas in the studio he can experiment endlessly. But whether he is traveling or working in his studio in Alkmaar, an image is created at the decisive moment, as photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson put it: when a visual highlight coincides with a dramatic climax.
Bastiaan Woudt (1987) grew up in Bergen. He makes photo series during trips to Morocco, Uganda, and Nepal. In 2014 Woudt receives a nomination for the SO Awards, in 2015 he is named New Dutch Photography Talent. In 2016, the British Journal of Photography names him one of “the ones to watch,” and he receives the Van Vlissingen Art Foundation Prize. His work is represented internationally by Bildhalle Amsterdam, Bildhalle Zürich, Atlas Gallery, London, and Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta (USA). In addition to his free work, Woudt produces commissioned photography for magazines such as British Vogue Harper’s Bazaar, New York Magazine, Volkskrant Magazine, and l’Officiel. Woudt’s photography was shown at leading photography fairs such as Paris Photo, Photo London, Art Miami, Photo Shanghai, APAID New York, and PAN Amsterdam and was successfully auctioned at Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Phillips, among others.