Annet Gelink Gallery is pleased to announce a new space dedicated to the work of the acclaimed Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken, next door to Annet Gelink Gallery. Ed van der Elsken Archives will permanently have on display the rich and varied oeuvre of Van der Elsken. The new gallery space will open on Saturday, September 6.


Annet Gelink has worked with the estate of Ed van der Elsken for the past twenty years and with the growing interest into Van der Elsken’s work, Ed van der Elsken Archives feels like a natural next step.

The aim of this new gallery space is to keep the legacy and work of Van der Elsken publicly accessible and as alive and vibrant as the works themselves. Taking his works as a starting point, exhibitions will be set up in collaboration with individuals from the worlds of fashion, art and literature. Each will be invited to come with their own response to Ed’s work or to make a selection from Van der Elsken’s archive.  For our 2012 exhibition Look.Ed!, Rineke Dijkstra, Marlene Dumas and Marijke van Warmerdam were each asked to make a selection of photographs from Ed van der Elsken’s oeuvre. The resulting show displayed the wide breadth of Van der Elsken’s work, but also the wide range of responses his work evokes. In the footsteps of this exhibition, we hope that Ed van der Elsken Archives will become a space that will present fresh and new perspectives on work that has been in the public eye for decades.


Ed van der Elsken (1925, Amsterdam -1990, Edam NL) was a photographer and filmmaker who, for over 40 years, captured the life he encountered on the streets he roamed, through photography, photography books and films. Having started his career in the 1940s, it was his move to Paris in the 1950s that would prove the catalyst to his reputation. His time in Paris culminated in Love on the Left Bank, his influential photography book that characterized and documented the bohemian scene of Saint-Germain-de-Prés and instantly made Ed van der Elsken famous. The photographs in this series also caught the eye of Edward Steichen, resulting in various shows in the US during the 1950s that would cement his reputation and place him amongst a group of peers including Robert Frank, Bert Hardy and Herbert List amongst others. The book crystallized Van der Elsken’s gritty, spontaneous and often confrontational style, with which he would go on to capture his travels, the people he chanced upon and particular moments from his private life.

Van der Elsken would go on to publish numerous photography books, such as the recently republished Amsterdam!, his publication Sweet Life with photographs of his round the world travels and the photography books documenting his travels to Japan (one of his favourite destinations). Van der Elsken always photographed life as he encountered it, embracing both the brighter as well as the darker sides. His unconventional technique and the snapshot-like quality of his work have been of great importance in the development of contemporary photography.


Above all, Ed van der Elsken Archives will be a place for Ed van der Elsken lovers and novices alike, to see up close and in new and changing contexts the work of this extraordinary photographer, artist and individual.


Ed van der Elsken Archives' first exhibition will be Love on the Left Eye, featuring work by Nobuyoshi Araki alongside that of Ed van der Elsken. The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with Taka Ishii Gallery. Love on the Left Eye will be on view from September 6 through October 18, 2014.