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Photo Forward Los Angeles : Galerie XII L.A. : Erwin Olaf – Recent Work


Galerie XII presents the first exhibition of Erwin Olaf on the West Coast. The opening will be part of the Art and Soul of Santa Monica kicking off on Saturday, Feb.18, in conjunction with Frieze.

Considered as the most important Dutch photographer of his generation, Olaf is celebrated for his bold and sometimes controversial approach. His practice centers around society’s marginalized individuals, including women, people of color, and the LGBTQIA+ community.

In 2022, Olaf decided to celebrate the 90th birthday of his longtime friend, the choreographer Hans van Manen, with a stunning series of photographs entitled Dance in Close-Up. Together, they selected specific moments from van Manen’s iconic choreographies and captured details. Olaf shows us body fragments, arched backs, contracted muscles, bent toes, pointed fingers…

“Ballet inspires me. Human beings have the capacity to express themselves through many art forms, but when it comes to dance – and especially classical modern ballet – I am always amazed by that unbelievably elevated form of expression. It’s so precise and so incredibly skilled; I admire that enormously.” Erwin Olaf.

But of course, being in Los Angeles, we also had to include some images from his iconic body of work Palm Springs (2018). There are pools and bankers, soldiers and girls, and the incredible light of the desert, references to the California dream. Yet Olaf’s eye goes beyond the cliché to induce the idea that maybe the dream is not there anymore.


Erwin Olaf Recent Work
February 18th – May 28th, 2023
Galerie XII Los Angeles
Bergamot Station Arts Center, B2
2525 Michigan Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404


Photo Forward Los Angeles

Fair Hours: Saturday, February 18 · 11-7 / Sunday, February 19 · 11-5

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