Anouk Kruithof 

Untitled 2 

Untitled 2

About the artist

With much sagacity, Anouk Kruithof, a Dutch artist trained in photography, uses the medium as the starting point of projects which oscillate between performance and installation. Her works are fashioned from three materials: the human psyche, with its emotions and impulses, colour, with its perceptions and symbolic meanings, and finally the spatial framework within which her projects grow. This results in multi-dimensional projects, structured by the interaction between the space she occupies and the people she invites, be they protagonists of her projects or visitors to her exhibitions. Her work can thus take the form of tall stacks of prints you can help yourself from, or “photo-cakes” you can scoff at openings. Books are also a major medium for the artist, who has already published six of them. Her recent projects include Becoming Blue (2008), The Daily Exhaustion (2010) and Happy Birthday to You (2011), the result of her artistic residency in a Dutch mental institution.


Your work, even in your most formally seductive pieces, is always very much connected to a context and idea. What were the ones behind these wire nests?
Wires and cables are often electrically insulated, like some kind of energy, and you can connect or tie a lot of functional things with wires. I see this messy but clearly structured form of clad wires and cables as a controlled chaos of connection: something like a “wire brain” or a “cable head”,' especially at a time when everything’s shifting towards becoming completely wireless. Wires are disappearing which is why I think they’re coming to my attention… I like to invent new things out of fragments of the past, if that's possible.

You sometimes "sample" your own work by reinterpreting a piece’s initial inspiration to give it a new shape (like the Happy Birthday to You book that you are revising in a second version). This induces that your subject is a rich, lively reality, which you as an artist can explore from different angles - which contradicts the common opinion that the artist creates definitive works resulting from a unique, almost sacred vision.
You are right: I don’t have much to do with the idea that the artist's vision is unique and sacred. Everyone has ideas. Everyone can make art. Ideas and art are everywhere, it’s a matter of who picks up the ideas from the universe and is able to transform them into something epic. The public, institutions and critics define within time and space what is ultimately considered to be art.
Within my own art practice, I have no restrictions. There is plenty of room for negotiation in my work.
Nothing is fixed: what I do is all about dynamics. This is also how I live my life. It's like a perpetuum mobile which can assume different forms in a continuous flow.

What do you like about making books? Your six books all have very different forms: what are your thoughts when creating a book? Does it serve to document your work, to collect it, or is it a work in itself?

My books are works in their own right. To me, a good art book requires two elements: it has to contain a strong piece of work, and its final physical form must reinforce the content of the book. The correct ‘melting’ process gives the book the right to become a work in itself. I consider the form of a book as an environment to show my work in, just like an art space can be, or a little iPhone screen, or the table on which I install my edible photocakes which transform, self-destruct and ultimately vanish with help from the public: people!

Your work is full of energy, very much rooted in “here and now”: your art develops at a very fast pace. French artist Robert Filliou famously said that “Art is what makes life more interesting than art”. Could you live without art?
Never! I love Robert Filliou’s expression so much. It’s just so true!
I really love what I do: it's the only thing I can see myself doing in life, forever. I never really had any doubts about this, which is funny because to choose the path of becoming a young artist is probably the most unreliable thing you can do. Nothing is certain. To me, it didn’t really even feel like a choice, it happened naturally. From the moment I stepped into the art academy after high-school, I felt relieved and thought: “ah, this is it!” I literally took of my shoes and felt at home there… and was always working, working, working.
And I still am I guess. I am optimistic, some say full of energy, but when I cannot make my art because I couldn’t sleep for a few nights, it makes me sad and depressed, and I become a not-so-nice person.
For me, making my art is the only thing I can trust. It’s always with me: my ideas, thoughts, the process of making, and my dreams.... A super-big love!

Limited edition, numbered and signed. 

Selected shows and awards

Ocean of Images, New Photography 2015, The Edward Steichen Photography Galleries (MoMA), New-York, 2015
Unseen Photo Fair,
Amsterdam, 2015
Fragmented Entity
, B&N Gallery, London, 2012   
The Daily Exhaustion, Le Petit Endroit, Paris, 2012   
Becoming Blue, Gallery Adler, Frankfurt am Main, 2010                                    
Fragmented Entity, Gallery Adler on Art Rotterdam, 2011   
Becoming Blue, Museum het Domein, Sittard, 2009   
Becoming Blue, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, 2009
The Black Hole, FOAM Amsterdam, 2006   

ICP (International Center of Photography) Infintity Award / Young Photographer, New York, 2012
PhotoEye best photobooks 2011 (3 nominations for Happy Birthday to You and 1 for A Head with Wings)
Jury Grand Prix & Photoglobal Award (one year artist-in-residence at The School of Visual Arts, New York), 26th International Festival of Fashion and Photography, villa Noailles, Hyères, 2011
Illy Public Award with Fragmented Entity, Art Rotterdam, 2011
Dutch Doc Award (selected by Barbara Visser), 2011
Plat(t)form 09 Fotomuseum Winterthur (honorable mention), 2009

Selected publications

The Bungalow, Onomatopee, 2013
A Head with Wings, Little Brown Mushroom Saint Paul (MN) USA, 2011
Lang Zal Ze Leven / Happy Birthday to You, self-published, 2011
The Daily Exhaustion, Kodoji press, Baden, Switzerland, 2010
Playing Borders, this contemporary state of mind, Revolver Publishing by VVV Berlin, 2009
Becoming Blue, Revolver Publishing by VVV Berlin, 2009
Het Zwarte Gat / The Black Hole, (icw Jaap Scheeren), Episode Publishers Rotterdam, 2006


& order

Anouk Kruithof 
Untitled 2


Technical information

Pigment print on Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta paper - limited edition, numbered and signed certificate.


40 x 31 cm , Edition of 100 250.00 €

By the same artist

Anouk Kruithof

By the same curator

ART LIGUE Opening with Jörg Colberg