Paul Kooiker

Paul Kooiker (b. 1964) is not interested in creating the perfect photographic image. The value of his work lies not in his individual photographs (which are sometimes overexposed, blurred by camera movement or grainy), but in what he does with them postproduction – the subsequent process of selection and manipulation. In the initial phase of his creative process he is a deliberately ‘bad’ photographer, producing a mass of exploratory material that often runs to hundreds of images. He then approaches this material as a visual artist, creating ‘collections’ in the form of three-dimensional installations and photo books. These fictive collections look as if they have been found somewhere or have turned up in some ancient suitcase abandoned for decades in an attic. To ensure their credibility, Kooiker pays meticulous attention to internal consistency of form and style. This stands in sharp contrast to the contents of his series, which are often enigmatic and vaguely disturbing.

Paul Kooiker studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. In 1996 he won the Prix de Rome and in 2009 he was awarded the A. Roland Holst Prize for his oeuvre. As well as exhibiting widely in the Netherlands and internationally, Kooiker has devoted considerable attention to the publication of his work, mostly in partnership with publisher


1990 – 1992 Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam 1

1982 – 1986 Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, Den Haag


2009 A. Roland Holst Award

1996 Prix-de-Rome Photography

Selected solo exhibitions

2014 Nude Animal Cigar, Fotomuseum Den Haag Sunday, Steven Kasher Gallery, New York

2013 Paul Kooiker, RVB Gallery, Paris Paul Kooiker, MiCamera, Milan

2012 Sunday, Galerie Wim van Krimpen, Amsterdam Room Service, ICM, Haarlem

2009 Crush, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam A. Roland Host Award, KCB, Bergen Crush, Galerie Van Zoetendaal, Amsterdam

2007 Political Chaos, Galerie Van Zoetendaal, Amsterdam Galerie Maurits vd Laar, Den Haag

2006 Paradise twenty-one, FOAM, Amsterdam

2004 Showground, Galerie Van Zoetendaal, Amsterdam

2002 Hunting and Fishing, James Cohan Gallery, New York

Hunting and Fishing, Galerie Roger Bjorkholmen, Stockholm

2001 Modelstudies, Galerie Van Zoetendaal, Amsterdam

2000 Utrechtse Krop, Universiteitsmuseum, Utrecht

1999 Hunting and Fishing, Fries Museum, Leeuwarden

Hunting and Fishing, De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam

Utrechtse Krop, Vleeshal, Middelburg

1998 Janus Pact, Montevideo, Amsterdam

1997 Galerie De Praktijk, Amsterdam

1996 Galerie De Praktijk, Amsterdam

Hedendaagse Fotografie, Kunsthal Rotterdam

Selected group exhibitions

2014 Dutch Photography, The space between us, He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen Haperende Mens, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam Le Mur, Collection Antoine de Galbert, La Maison Rouge, Paris Dutch Photography, The space between us, Felix& Foam, Amsterdam

Photo Stories, Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag

Theatre de L’absurde, Galerie Gabriel Rolt, Amsterdam

2013 From Holland with Love, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam Photo as Figure, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag Political Chaos, Etudes, Colette, Paris Undercover, Museum of Contemporary Art Erarta, St Petersburg Easy Living, Kunstvereniging Diepenheim, Diepenheim

Images for Images, Artists for Tichy, GASK, Kutna Hora Still Life-Contemporary Dutch Photography, MAMM, Moscow Still Life-Contemporary Dutch Photography, Perm State Art Gallery, Perm Still Life-Contemporary Dutch Photography, Novgorod State Art Museum, Novgorod As Tears Go By, Cokkie Snoei, Rotterdam Skinscape, Metis-nl, Amsterdam Vrai ou Faix, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam

2012 Museum Minutes, Kunsthal, Rotterdam You are here, Gallery Vous Etes Ici, Amsterdam Unseen Photo Fair, Galerie Van Krimpen, Amsterdam

Basic Instincts, OCT Art & Design Gallery, Shenzhen, China LaLaLa Human Steps, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul (cat.) From Holland with Love, Biennial of Photography, Liege, Belgie (cat.) Het Nederlandse fotoboek since 1945, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam De zwervende tentoonstelling, 38CC, Delft Photobook Award Kassel, Le Bal, Paris. (cat.) Basic Instincts, Eusebiuskerk/Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Arnhem

2011 Still Life, FOAM, Amsterdam Dutch and Belgian Photobooks, Kominek Gallery, Berlin Basic Instincts, Villa Elizabeth, Berlin (cat.) Surreal, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam Art Rotterdam, Galerie Van Zoetendaal, Rotterdam Foto(=)Kunst, Museum Valkhof, Nijmegen (cat.) VOTH, Stedelijk Museum Den Bosch, Den Bosch (cat.) Rebound, Galerie Van Zoetendaal, Amsterdam (cat.) Han Nefkens-10 jaar mecenas, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam Sunday, Motto, Berlin

2010 The library of Babel, Zabludowicz Collection, London (cat.) 25 years anniversary part III, Gallery Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam Use Me Abuse Me, NYPhoto Festival, New York (cat.) Hidden Books Hidden Stories, NYPhoto Festival (curator Lou Reed) New York Both Ends Burning, Galerie Martin van Zomeren, Amsterdam Anti-Beeld, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam Le Garage, Recontres d’Arles Festival, Arles, France. The Red Snowbal, Dutch Culture Centre, World Expo Shanghai, China (cat) De Geer van Velde a Rineke Dijkstra, Insttitut Neerlandais, Paris Bookmakers, Galerie Chateau d’Eau, Toulouse, France The Red Snowbal, Chinese European Art Centre, Xiamen, China VOTH, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, Russia (cat.)

2009 Art Rotterdam, Galerie Van Zoetendaal, Rotterdam 200 jaar Prix de Rome, Kunsthal, Rotterdam (cat.) Archivo, MK Galerie, Berlin (cat.) Discovering Slowness, CEAC, Xiamen, China (cat.) Remain in Nature, Galerie LUMC, Leiden

Desir, Stades de Flandre, Dunkerque, France Rietveld Arsenale, Arsenale Novissimo, Venice Biennale (cat.) Paris Photo, Galerie van Zoetendaal, Paris

2008 Art Rotterdam, Galerie Van Zoetendaal, Rotterdam Collectie Van Zoetendaal, Fotomuseum Den Haag SWAF, Kunsteyssen, Alkmaar (cat.) 1141 Magnetic Field, Gist-projectruimte, Brummen Art Amsterdam, Galerie Van Zoetendaal, Amsterdam Archivo, De Boterhal, Hoorn

Quo Vadis, Autocenter, Berlin (cat.) Paris Photo, Galerie Van Zoetendaal, Paris XXste eeuw, Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag (cat.)

2007 The suspended Moment, Z33, Hasselt (cat.) Art Rotterdam, Galerie Van Zoetendaal, Rotterdam De ontdekking van de traagheid, KW14, Den Bosch (cat.) Photo London, Galerie Van Zoetendaal, London Kunsteditie voor Duchenne, Brummelkamp Galerie/AMC, Amsterdam Discovering Slowness, National Center of Photography, Sint Petersburg (cat.) Among photographers, Fotomuseum Den Haag (cat.) Objeto de Replica, Artium, Vitoria Gasteiz, Spain Paris Photo, Galerie Van Zoetendaal, Paris

2006 Portaal naar de hemel, Frans Hals museum, Haarlem (cat.) Dutch Insight, Daejeon Municipal Museum of Art, Daejeon, South Korea (cat.) L’esprit du Nord, Maison Europeene de la Photographie, Paris (cat.) The suspended Moment, Museum for Contemporary Art, Vigo, Spain (cat.) Revisited, Outline, Amsterdam


Akzo Nobel, The Netherlands Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag Fries Museum, Leeuwarden De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam ABN AMRO Collectie, the Netherlands Caldic Collectie, Wassenaar Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands Achmea Kunstcollectie, Zeist H+F collection, the Netherlands LUMC, Leiden