The Marseillaise(s) / fifteen years of collecting, Huis Marseille Museum voor fotografie, Amsterdam

The Marseillaise(s) / fifteen years of collecting focuses on the artistic growth and development of five photographers: Valérie Belin, Jacqueline Hassink, Naoya Hatakeyama, Sarah Jones and Rob Nypels. Each artist has curates a gallery of their choice, starting with their most recent works and moving to include older pieces of their own work which are held by the Huis Marseille collection. The result is five retrospectives, each artist illustrating their own personal and artistic development over the last fifteen years.

Valérie Belin’s work astonishes the viewer with the enormously increased complexity of her subject matter and the unbelievable detail in which this is recorded. Belin layers negatives, plays with various methods of chemical development and utilises light in a variety of mysterious and perplexing ways.

This work contrasts with Jacqueline Hassink’s clean, minimalist photographs of Japanese temples and gardens; a series which she has worked since 2004, and which shows the degree to which the photographer has blossomed into a powerfully analytical and lyrical image-maker . Her steady, strong compositions reveal a deep understanding of Japanese culture and of the conflicts that must be resolved to achieve harmony between the natural world and modern civilisation.

Naoya Hatakeyama is known best for Blasts: a powerful series which depicts limestone being dynamited. Hatakeyama now documents the fragility of the earthquake-proof structures recently built in Japan after the disaster of 11 March 2011, resulting in melancholic, haunting images.

Sarah Jones meanwhile presents intimate studies of young women in domestic interiors, drawing studios and urban parks. These simple portrayals highlight the relationship between sitter, location, photographer and viewer and, in her recent photographs, Jones pushes this technique further by using a large format camera to flatten her scenes in their pictorial space, analysing and containing them as if in a museum vitrine.

Finally, Rob Nypels’ work reveals his own discerning eye for what landscape and nature have to offer in terms of colour and sensibilities. His photographs are almost magical, riding a fine line between abstraction and expression. In his mastery of tone he has revealed himself to be a true magicien de la terre of today.

Valérie Belin – Jacqueline Hassink – Naoya Hatakeyama – Sarah Jones – Rob Nypels: The Marseillaise(s) / fifteen years of collecting, until 7 December Huis Marseille Museum voor fotografie, Keizersgracht 401, 1016 EK Amsterdam, Netherlands. For more information visit

1. Naoya Hatakeyama, Blast #5707, 1995. Courtesy of collection Huis Marseille Amsterdam.

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