“George Hendrik Breitner: Pioneer of Street Photography” on view at Kunsthal Rotterdam
ROTTERDAM.- The Kunsthal Rotterdam in cooperation with the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam presents a major retrospective of photographs that the Rotterdam-born photographer George Hendrik Breitner (1857-1923) took around 1900. Breitner is known primarily as an eccentric painter of cityscapes, nudes and genre studies. This exhibition, however, shows him to be one of the most interesting photographers of his day, recording life in Amsterdam and other large cities such as Paris and Berlin in a style that was singularly personal and modern. He created many snapshot-style photographs on the streets as well as informal images of people’s home life. The photographs he took were less static than the typical professional photographs of his contemporaries. Breitner digressed from standard practices and experimented with technology. He opted for extremely high or extremely low perspectives, photographed into the light and managed to portray scenes of urban vitality using deliberately blurred images.