Roger Ballen

Roger Ballen | Animal Abstraction

12 November 2011 till 10 December 2011

Galerie Alex Daniels – Reflex Amsterdam is pleased to invite you to the opening and new booksigning of the exhibition

Saturday, November 12th from 5 – 7 pm in the presence of the artist.

Roger Ballen is regarded as one of the world’s foremost practitioner’s of black and white photography. He has been shooting in monochrome for nearly half a century, from his renowned documentary images of South African villagers to his recent extraordinary explorations of the psyche and its aesthetic.

Ballen’s work has been exhibited across the globe, and is widely collected by the world’s important art institutions, from Moma in New York, to the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

The Reflex Gallery, Amsterdam, presents a rare opportunity to view a selection of Ballen’s work from over the past 20 years. The exhibition will showcase iconic images from his acclaimed books, Shadow Chamber, Outland, and Boarding House, as well as important photographs that have never been shown before. In their rich complexity and visual daring, the 25 works on display challenge the viewer’s perception of photography and its relation to art – and to life.

These multi-layered photographs illuminate Ballen’s fascination with the animal kingdom and our complicated relationship to animals and birds. He invites us to reconsider that dynamic:

A bird spreading its wings mirrors the concertina of an accordion. A snake slithers across a drawing of a boy whose eyes peer out of a tiger skin stretched across his face. A siamese crouches on a chaise-longue next to a woman wearing a cat mask. Are these playful scenes, or is there a note of menace? Who is in control – us or them?

“I feel an affinity with animals,” Ballen says. “There is something mysterious and beautiful about them that is hard to put your finger on. They don’t give their secrets away.”

Consistently in these works, Ballen insists on obscuring human identity. All we are given are masked figures, or disembodied hands and feet. It is unsettling, ambiguous. The addition of drawing and collage present yet more layers for us to decipher.

Each image invites careful study, providing multiple readings, multiple meanings. Ballen leaves it to the viewer to make his mind up.

“I want, consciously, or unconsciously, to get to the meaning of life.”

Read moreRead Less

Past shows (selection)

Unseen

Sep 21st - Sep 23rd 2018

In Times Of Plenty | The Shape Of Things Today

Jul 7th - Sep 4th 2018

Ichwan Noor | Ichwan Noor | Beetle Sphere

May 26th - Jun 30th 2018

Miles Aldridge | Miles Aldridge | ART HISTORY

Apr 7th - May 22nd 2018

Keith Coventry | Keith Coventry | Junk & Pure Junk

Feb 24th - Apr 4th 2018

New Beginnings

Jan 3rd - Feb 17th 2018

Roger Ballen | Roger Ballen – Ballenesque – a Retrospective

Nov 23rd - Dec 30th 2017

Unseen Photo Fair 2017

Sep 22nd - Sep 24th 2017

Chen Nong | Chen Nong | Silk Road

Sep 16th - Nov 11th 2017

Joel Morrison | Joel Morrison | New Works

May 6th - Aug 15th 2017

Iris Schomaker | IRIS SCHOMAKER | Come To The Edge

Feb 25th - Apr 26th 2017

Unseen Photo Fair 2016

Sep 23rd - Sep 25th 2016

Marcus Harvey | Marcus Harvey | SHIPBUILDING | New Works

Nov 25th - Jan 7th 2017

Sculpture Project Gelderlandplein | Permanently On View

Donald Baechler | Donald Baechler | New Works

Sep 16th - Nov 15th 2016

Photo London 2016 Somerset House, Booth no. X2

May 18th - May 22nd 2016

Irina Ionesco | Irina Ionesco | Ma réalité rêvée

Mar 19th - May 10th 2016

Unseen Photo Fair 2015

Sep 18th - Sep 20th 2015

Andrew Moore | Andrew Moore | New Works from Dirt Meridian and Cuba

Nov 28th - Feb 20th 2016

Todd Hido | Todd Hido|Selections From A Survey: ‘Khrystyna’s World’

Sep 12th - Nov 21st 2015

Araki | Nobuyoshi Araki | Alluring Hell

Jun 6th - Aug 15th 2015

Araki | Araki | August and Megumi Kagurazaka

Dec 20th - Feb 28th 2015

Barry Reigate | One Cannot Get Fingerprints From A Rock

Oct 4th - Dec 6th 2014

Unseen Photofair 2014

Sep 18th - Sep 21st 2014

Beauty of Darkness II

Jun 21st - Aug 4th 2014

Miles Aldridge | One Black & White and Twenty Four Colour Photographs

Mar 8th - May 10th 2014

Robert Yarber | Robert Yarber | Panic Pending

Dec 6th - Jan 25th 2014

Artissima 2013

Nov 8th - Nov 10th 2013

Harland Miller | Harland Miller | Wherever You Are Whatever You’re Doing This One’s For You

Sep 20th - Nov 24th 2013

Unseen 2013

Sep 26th - Sep 29th 2013

Something Like Summer

Jul 17th - Sep 13th 2013

John Copeland | All We Ever Wanted Was Everything

May 25th - Jul 16th 2013

Hisaji Hara | Hisaji Hara | A Photographic Portrayal of the Paintings of Balthus

Mar 23rd - May 11th 2013

Arco 2013

Feb 13th - Feb 17th 2013

Chen Nong | Chen Nong | Climbing To Moon

Sep 29th - Dec 31st 2012

Pulse Miami Contemporary Art Fair

Dec 6th - Dec 9th 2012

Daido Moriyama | Daido Moriyama | Journey For Something

May 19th - Jul 28th 2012

Marcus Harvey | Marcus Harvey | Glass Paintings

Apr 7th - May 16th 2012

Arco Madrid 2012

Feb 15th - Feb 19th 2012

Harland Miller | Harland Miller | Rocky 6

Jul 9th - Sep 13th 2011

Moby | ‘Destroyed’ – Booksigning and Exhibition

May 31st - Jun 16th 2011

Araki | Nobuyoshi Araki | It Was Once a Paradise

Jun 1st - Jul 16th 2011

| John Copeland | Times of Grace

Nov 27th - Feb 15th 2011

Andrew Moore | Andrew Moore | Making History

Apr 10th - Jun 7th 2010

Harland Miller | Harland Miller | I’ll Never Forget What I Can’t Remember

Sep 18th - Nov 9th 2010

| Kristen as seen by Miles Aldridge and Chantal Joffe

Mar 14th - Jun 7th 2010

Alla Esipovich | No Comment

Jan 15th - Mar 13th 2010

Contemporary and Vintage Photography

Sep 26th - Nov 28th 2009

David Lachapelle | David LaChapelle | The Rape of Africa

Jun 6th - Jul 31st 2009

Bill Owens | Bill Owens | Riots & New Suburbia

Feb 28th - Apr 4th 2009

Miles Aldridge | Miles Aldridge | Acid Candy

May 3rd - Jul 5th 2008