Machiel Botman: One Tree


PRESS RELEASE: Machiel Botman: One Tree, Dec 14, 2011 - Feb 18, 2012

Machiel Botman: One Tree
Dec 14, 2011 – Feb 18, 2012

Gitterman Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of black and white photographs by Machiel Botman.  The exhibition will open on Wednesday, December 14th and continue through Saturday, February 18th.

This exhibition of Machiel Botman’s black and white photographs from the past ten years is concurrent with the release of his third monograph, One Tree (Nazraeli Press, 2011). A key figure in Dutch photography, Botman has always photographed as a way to understand life. He is not restrained by photographic conventions; rather, Botman utilizes a variety of exposures, depths of field and focal distances, resulting in a style that is uniquely his own. His books are equally singular. They are autobiographical and chronicle the stages in his life, but they do not follow a linear narrative.

Bookmaking itself is another expressive medium for Botman. He is involved in all aspects of the process and works through ideas with book dummies. Like his photographs, Botman’s books are informed by his knowledge of the history of the medium but remain distinctly his. One Tree utitlizes more text than his past books and includes a short story, The Hawk and The Cat. The story evokes the overall tone of the images and tells of a young boy absorbed in his wonder and fascination for a hawk. Botman’s choice of endpapers is a further example of his personal expression. They feature a collage with 20 photographs of 20 leaves, all different, but all from the same tree.

Machiel Botman was born in 1955 in Vogelenzang, The Netherlands. Self-taught, Botman has photographed since the age of 10. In the early 1980s he learned to print by assisting the master printer Philippe Salaün in Paris, who made prints for Willy Ronis, Izis and Robert Doisneau and others.

Machiel Botman’s other monographs are Heartbeat (Volute, 1994) and Rainchild (Schaden and Le Point du Jour, 2004). Botman also published artist catalogs Drifting (2005) and Menabo (2006). He has taught workshops, primarily on bookmaking, at John Curtin University, Perth; The New School, New York; and the Toscana Photography Workshop in Italy. He has curated exhibitions for museums as well as edited and designed books on other artists including Miyako Ishiuchi and Kiyoshi Suzuki. Botman’s work is included in many private collections and institutional collections in The Netherlands, France, the United States, Australia and Japan.