7 May – 11 June, 1998


Opening reception Thursday May 7, 6-8pm

The Spencer Brownstone Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of an exhibition of recent works by 28 year old Dutch artist, Edwin Zwakman. Zwakman is a graduate of the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, and has an impressive exhibition record that includes the Witte de With in Rotterdam and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. This show marks Zwakman’s first solo exhibition in New York City.
In this exhibition, Edwin Zwakman puts a new spin on the long-standing tradition of recording the Dutch landscape. His large-scale cibachromes document freeway overpasses, shorelines, breakfast tables, virtually all manner of everyday life in Holland's cities and suburbs. Or so it seems. In reality, the landscapes are constructed maquettes that have been later recorded with the camera. As a commentary about the over-organized nature of the Netherlands, Zwakman's maquette’s become a metaphor for the relentless desire to plan and control our surroundings. Further, he exploits the illusory qualities of photography to confront issues of subjectivity with regards to interpretation. Zwakman purposely chooses not to add a lot of detail to his constructions. He alters scale to enhance effect, and experiments with how much the viewer will recognize with the least amount of information. As a result, even when the strangeness of the maquette’s insinuates the photograph, our personal inferences cause a reconstruction of them. We each have our own vision of reality. Slowly, the process of interpretation that suits our experiences becomes apparent. It is this realization that is Zwakman’s aim.
Christel Vesters of the Stedelijk Museum writes "Zwakman is thoroughly aware of the subjective, determining nature of his gaze. Only when you are aware of this influence are you in a position to go beyond these connotations and create an image that not only contains references, but which always gains a new intention. For Zwakman, the reconstruction of these images is at the same time a reconstruction of looking." His cibachromes demand the viewer look beyond that which memory has already concluded and what the unconscious has inferred.