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Erwin Olaf & Hans Op de Beeck – National Museum of History and Art, Luxembourg

16 Dec — 11 Jun 2023

Erwin Olaf & Hans Op de Beeck: Inspired by Steichen

16.12.2022 – 11.06.2023

Marking the 50th anniversary of Edward Steichen’s death, this exciting project showcases the work of two eminent contemporary artists, Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf (*1959) and Belgian visual artist Hans Op de Beeck (*1969).

Out of their appreciation for each other and their shared admiration for Steichen’s oeuvre, Olaf and Op de Beeck agreed to collaborate on a project for the first time ever. The exhibition features Olaf’s series Im Wald, together with watercolours and sculptures by Op de Beeck and landscape photographs by Steichen himself, creating surprising connections between the three artists. Although very different, they come together like virtuoso musicians, creating a new harmony, a richly variegated presentation of imagery in black, white and grey tones that is strikingly unified and self-evident.

The show, thus, provides a new context for the oeuvre of the Luxembourg-born photographer and encourages viewers to (re)discover the artistic qualities of his prints through a contemporary lens. In addition to their joint show, Olaf and Op de Beeck will also present a curated selection of works by Steichen from the MNHA’s extensive collection in the museum’s Steichen room.

Want to experience the exhibition in a different way? Tune into this custom-made playlist of moody, atmospheric tracks as you walk through the show. Created by our fine arts curator Ruud Priem, it’s sure to plunge you into the monochrome world of the artists, from large-scale black and white photographs to striking nocturnal watercolours.

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