Van Zoetendaal, 2020
Softbound, 23×16.5 cm
80 pages, black and white and color photographs
Available upon request
Dutch artist Ruth van Beek uses the visual codes inherent to photography – a shadow, a pedestal, a dark background, or a gesture – to lead viewers to believe in the incredible rarity and/or importance of the object shown, even when that object is not itself identifiable.
From a rich archive of found photographic material, van Beek organizes images in ever-evolving ways. The main source for his whimsical and playful collages are books and trade magazines from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
Titles on topics including proper bonsai care, cactus care, and the art of Japanese flower arranging, often found in thrift stores in Europe and the United States, provide rich material for her unique pieces. By cutting and folding, adding watercolor-painted paper shapes, and making visual connections between found images, the artist makes form, scale, and color reverberate, often to a disturbing or comical level.