The Museum of New Art presents Erwin Olaf's Breakfast in America
The Museum of New Art | Photography is located at 2501 Rochester Court, Troy, MI 48083.
Opening Reception: Sunday, December 7 from 3pm to 7pm.
Exhibition runs from December 7 through February 15, 2015.
Hours: 12pm to 5pm Tuesday through Saturday.
The explosive new developments in photography in the last decades have only increased its untold expressive power. In this new millennium, it alone is the primary vehicle of our modern consciousness. New photography, through its latest mechanisms and materials, seeks to discover and record not only our candid minutiae but something of the soul of contemporary society.
Photography's long-acknowledged power to mirror the face of the world has by no means been abandoned in Erwin Olaf's exhibition, but now allows us to step through that mirror.
Olaf’s impeccably orchestrated sets achieve a level of aesthetic consistency precisely because he builds them all from floor to ceiling, creating perfect stages on which to enact moments of awkwardness, shame, or humiliation—the grievous emotions and impulses we might all wish to repress. To that end, his images appear both candid and supremely self-conscious, natural and posed at once; and though they have the clarity and naturalism achieved only by photography, in composition, tone, and gesture they have the mood of a painting.
‘Erwin Olaf* is one of the world’s most sought-after photographers, with seven gallery representations worldwide and two Aperture books and dozens of exhibitions to his name.’- Diane Smyth, British Journal of Photography
"With costumed actors in sets evoking the mid-20th-century Midwest, Olaf's photographs look like scenes that Norman Rockwell's mordantly crazed cousin might have painted. Each illustrates a moment in an emotionally charged narrative, with muted color and lighting enhancing a suspenseful, noirish atmosphere: the middle-aged teacher erotically fixated on his Lolita-esque student in an empty classroom; the frumpy housewife lost in her sad and lonely thoughts in her clean, modern kitchen; or, even the Boy Scout and his black-and-white mutt standing expectantly yet frozen in the ice cream parlor."- Ken Johnson, the NY Times
According to critic Francis Hodgson, Olaf’s images “lead us to a sense of atmosphere which is broad enough to repay many second readings of the pictures and so keep us viewers interested.”
Erwin Olaf (born in the Netherlands, 1959) is a Dutch photographer known for his highly stylized, daring, and often provocative work addressing social issues and taboos. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Johannes Vermeer Award (2011), a Lucie Award (2008), and Photographer of the Year in the International Color Awards (2006). His work is shown in museums and galleries around the world. Olaf also received a commission to design the new national side of the Dutch Euro, launched in 2013.
*Erwin Olaf is represented by Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, NYC