Jan Koster
 
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Jan 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.

Stephan Reisner
1959Born in Kampen, Netherlands
Lives in Amsterdam, Netherlands


Collections (Selection)

Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus, Germany
Foam Photography Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Solo Exhibitions (Selection)

2012Veecaten & Dronthen – Jan Koster, Van Kranendonk Gallery, The Hague, Netherlands
2006Jan Koster – de ramen, Galerie Michael Janssen, Cologne, Germany
2004Jan Koster, Lindig in Paludetto, Turin, Italy
2003Jan Koster – De Ramen en Dutchscapes, Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2001Jan Koster, Galerie Michael Janssen, Cologne, Germany
1999Jan Koster – Koelucht, Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam, Netherlands
1998Jan Koster, Galerie Michael Janssen, Cologne, Germany


Group Exhibitions (Selection)

2010As Time Goes By, MK Galerie – Berlin, Deutschland und MK Galerie – Rotterdam, Netherlands
2009I am a bird, AMC Brummelkamp Galerie, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2007Vorm Horizont, Kunstraum Potsdam, Deutschland
7. Internationale Foto-Triennale – Identität/ Identitätskonstruktion/ Heimat, Esslingen am Neckar, Germany
2006Jan Koster/ Hans-Christian Schink, CBK Centrum Beeldende Kunst Dordrecht, Netherlands
Nederland 1, museumgoudA, Gouda, Netherlands
2005Slow Art – Stilleben – Portraits – Landschaften, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany
Willem von Zoetendaal – Marks of Honour, Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Confrontation, Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2004Jan Koster & Jem Southam - Rise and Fall, Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2003LINK - Municipal Art Acquisitions 2002-2003: Photography, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Netherlands
2001Das flache Land - Zur Ästhetik einer unspektakulären Sichtweise, Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus, Germany
the sleep of reason, Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK
1999Insight 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
1995Wim Janssen, Jan Koster & Rineke Dijkstra, Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam, Netherlands


Books/Catalogs (Selection)

Jan Koster: Dutchscapes, Bertrams, 2009

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