Depth of Field, volume 7, no. 1 (December 2015)Maartje van den Heuvel: New ‘Masters’ of Dutch Landscape. Photographs of the Most Man-Made Land in the World

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Impact of the New Topographics on the photographers of Nature as Artifice

Because of the similarities, the photographers of the New Topographics may most certainly be seen as predecessors in spirit of the photographers of Nature as Artifice. However, as is evident from the various photographic projects described in this article, the influence of the 1975 exhibition at the George Eastman House was by no means direct. The work of one of the New Topographics, Stephen Shore, is cited by several of the Dutch photographers as being an influence, yet this is not because he participated in the New Topographics exhibition. His work, as well as that of other American photographers such as Joel Meyerowitz, who made landscape photography of the same type, reached Dutch photographers through photobooks and an occasional exhibition, e.g. at the Rotterdam-based Lijnbaancentrum. In the 1980s, the Perspektief gallery, as well in Rotterdam, devoted attention to new forms of landscape photography on a more structural level, culminating in the Wasteland. Landscape from Now On exhibition during the Rotterdam Photo Biennial of 1992, which brought the new anti-monumental landscape photography of the man-made urban and industrial environment to the Netherlands. This 'late modernist' approach has continually resulted in interesting work, including the other projects discussed in this article as well as those appearing after Nature as Artifice, such as Marie-José Jongerius’ (b. 1970) photographs of Maasvlakte 2 of 2012. (Fig. 10)


Fig. 10. Marie-José Jongerius, Maasvlakte 2, from the series Concrete Wilderness, 2013, chromogenic print, 120 x 150 cm.