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IntroductionJan Koster - Dutchscapes
It has been said that landscapes exist only in the eyes of the observer. Most of the time, then, we look at landscapes through the eyes of the photographer. Robert Adam’s once described this genre as a combination of geography, autobiography and metaphor. Good landscape photography does more than simply document a piece of land, it allows it to transcend this form and become a personal statement. This can be seen in the images of Dutch photographer Jan Koster, an expert on his home country, who quickly developed a unique form of landscape photography. His works are expressions of an intensive debate with the history and experience of the landscape.
The geographical history of the Netherlands alone provides him with enough inspiration, its coastlines and coastal protection are key features of his works. Few countries are so threatened by flooding and the powers of disruption. Koster reveals the diversity of the dune dominated landscape by varying the standpoint only marginally. He also adds something symbolic to each view: the dunes are accentuated through a deliberate balance of colour and light, or are combined to create irritating double views. The sheer expanse of the landscape, juxtaposed by the theatrics of the sky, almost allows us to forget how much geological history and how many ingenious landscaping techniques are contained in the dunes. What remains hidden to the eye of the observer is less the objective element of pure documentation, and more the subjective or associative aspect of the landscape, something that only begins to appear on second glance. In Koster’s images we see how the dunes toss and turn on the bed of the landscape, as if dreaming a violent dream.
1959 Born in Kampen, Netherlands Lives in Amsterdam, NetherlandsCollectionsKunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus, Germany
Foam Photography Museum, Amsterdam, NetherlandsExhibitions
2012 Veecaten & Dronthen – Jan Koster, Van Kranendonk Gallery, The Hague, Netherlands 2006 Jan Koster – de ramen, Galerie Michael Janssen, Cologne, Germany 2004 Jan Koster, Lindig in Paludetto, Turin, Italy 2003 Jan Koster – De Ramen en Dutchscapes, Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam, Netherlands 2001 Jan Koster, Galerie Michael Janssen, Cologne, Germany 1999 Jan Koster – Koelucht, Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam, Netherlands 1998 Jan Koster, Galerie Michael Janssen, Cologne, Germany
2010 As Time Goes By, MK Galerie – Berlin, Deutschland und MK Galerie – Rotterdam, Netherlands 2009 I am a bird, AMC Brummelkamp Galerie, Amsterdam, Netherlands 2007 Vorm Horizont, Kunstraum Potsdam, Deutschland 7. Internationale Foto-Triennale – Identität/ Identitätskonstruktion/ Heimat, Esslingen am Neckar, Germany 2006 Jan Koster/ Hans-Christian Schink, CBK Centrum Beeldende Kunst Dordrecht, Netherlands Nederland 1, museumgoudA, Gouda, Netherlands 2005 Slow Art – Stilleben – Portraits – Landschaften, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany Willem von Zoetendaal – Marks of Honour, Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands Confrontation, Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands 2004 Jan Koster & Jem Southam - Rise and Fall, Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands 2003 LINK - Municipal Art Acquisitions 2002-2003: Photography, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Netherlands 2001 Das flache Land - Zur Ästhetik einer unspektakulären Sichtweise, Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus, Germany the sleep of reason, Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK 1999 Insight Out - Landschaft und Interieur als Themen zeitgenössischer Photographie, Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel, Switzerland and Kunsthaus Hamburg, Germany Elger Esser - Jan Koster - Gerco de Ruijter – Landschappen, De Vleeshal, Middelburg, Netherlands 1995 Wim Janssen, Jan Koster & Rineke Dijkstra, Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam, Netherlands