Curtain (1993) Helena van der Kraan

Otto Snoek
About the artwork

Curtain was made in 1993 by Helena van der Kraan (1940), commissioned by the then corporation / foundation Onze Woning. This is a painting of her photo Curtain (1991), meticulously (after) painted by Atelier Leo Mineur (commissioned by the maker). Van der Kraan is a renowned photographer. In 1968, Van der Kraan fled from her native Czechoslovakia to the Netherlands, where she was admitted to the Haarlem post-academic art course Ateliers' 63. In 1970 she bought her first camera, with which she photographed the performances of her husband, visual artist Axel van de Kraan. In the years that followed, photography became her medium. She prefers to work in black and white. She also experiments with various photographic techniques, such as gum printing and printing photos on canvas. She still photographs analogously and makes her prints with her own hand. A large part of her oeuvre consists of self-portraits or portraits of people from her immediate surroundings. In her photographed still lifes from the seventies and eighties, everyday objects in and around her house are the subject. They are traces of her daily life: an empty coffee mug in a niche, dishes in a bowl or the cat on the table. In Curtain we see a hand that moves the curtain a little to one side, as if someone is secretly trying to look outside. The painting has been restored in 2019 and applied to a new blue painted facade (thanks to Woonbron).

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About the artist

Helena van der Kraan (Prague, 1940) is a well-known Rotterdam photographer. She first studied in Prague, but fled in 1968 from the former Czechoslovakia to the Netherlands. She is accepted at the post-academic art school Ateliers' 63 in Haarlem. Here she meets her current husband, sculptor and graphic artist Axel van der Kraan. In the years that followed, Van der Kraan started photographing, mainly friends and acquaintances, and everyday objects in and around her house. In her work the emphasis is on shapes, lines and patterns. Helena and Axel have been working together since the 80 years as an artist duo from Rotterdam. In 1989 they received the Hendrik Chabot Prize.

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Location
Schout van Groenewegenstraat 1A, 3043 ED Rotterdam, Netherlands

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