Another large retrospective of yet another largely unknown (to me) Dutch photographer is presented at the Fotomuseum Rotterdam: “Ad van Denderen: On the Road” showcases the evolution of documentary photographer Ad van Denderen, on his way to better photography, personal evolution, etc. Over the last 55 years, he photographed Apartheid in South Africa, migration, and the never-ending geopolitical conflict between Israel and Palestine (just look at your news channel today), topics all very relevant today. Van Denderen studied at the Utrecht School for Graphic Arts and then traveled throughout Asia and the Middle East. In the years that followed, he photographed in places like Chechnya, Iran, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, South Africa, and Southern Europe. He also captured photos in the Netherlands, for instance in prisons at Kleine Gartmanplantsoen and Havenstraat in Amsterdam. The exhibition spans van Denderen 60 year-long career, showing his evolution as an artist. I was, as always, particularly attracted by his black-and-white photography of Gaza, Belgium, India, Egypt and Zaire.

Cairo, Egypt, 1984 ©Ad van Denderen
Varanasi, India, 1966 ©Ad van Denderen
Intifada, Hebron, west Bank, 1994 ©Ad van Denderen
Gaza City, Gaza, 1994 ©Ad van Denderen
Athens, Greece, 1998 ©Ad van Denderen
Coal Mine, Winterslag, Belgium, 1987 ©Ad van Denderen
Coal Mine, Winterslag, Belgium, 1987 ©Ad van Denderen
Grozny, Chechnya, 1992 ©Ad van Denderen