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Biotope, from the "Flamboya" series

  • Accession Number:
  • Artist:
    Sassen, Viviane
  • Date:
  • Medium:
    Chromogenic development print
  • Dimensions:
    frame: 60 in x 48 1/4 in x 1 3/4 in; paper: 47 1/4 in x 59 in
  • Credit Line:
    Museum purchase


About the Photographer

Sassen, Viviane

Dutch, b. 1972

Vivian Sassen uses reflective surfaces, opaque shading, and vivid color to create imagery of both people and objects, often referring to the history of abstract painting and artists like Kasimir Malevich and Mark Rothko. To make this image, Sassen placed a mirror in the sand to capture the crisp blue of the sky and rough texture of the sand in a sharp line. She then held a sheet of colored plexiglass over the object, strategically photographing the colorful abstraction while giving away her hand as the composer in the shadows. Throughout the history of art, photography has been compared to painting and challenged as a lesser form of art due to its mechanical nature. Here, Sassen reminds us of the infinite possibilities of image-making by camera with her whimsical use of line, shape, color, and texture.

Sassen’s work has been exhibited globally in institutions such as Atelier Néerlandais, Paris; the Photographer’s Gallery, London; Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, to name only a few. Her bibliography is extensive and her book UMBRA won the Gold Medal for Best Book 2016 at Deutsche Fotobuchpreis.