This activity took place on:
Monday 31 Oct ’11
Erwin Olaf to receive Johannes Vermeer Award 2011
The State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science, Halbe Zijlstra, is to present this year's Johannes Vermeer Award to photographer Erwin Olaf. The jury selected Olaf because of the high quality of his entire oeuvre.
Erwin Olaf (born 1959 in Hilversum) first became known in the 1980s for his series Squares and Chessmen. The latter won him the first prize in the 1988 Young European Photographer competition.
In the 1990s, Olaf worked on further personal projects, including Fashion Victims and Royal Blood. His early work is notably bold and provocative, featuring nudes and bondage gear. In the later series, Hope and Grief, it is human vulnerability and loneliness that is most apparent.
Besides his personal work, Olaf has worked on commercial commissions for Levi’s, Microsoft, Nokia and others. Olaf recently portrayed Princess Máxima of the Netherlands to mark her 40th birthday.
The prize jury consisted of Victor Halberstadt (Chair), Judith Belinfante, Janine van den Ende, Hans Goedkoop and Paul Schnabel.
It commended Erwin Olaf for his extensive and unique work and his ability to constantly strike out in new directions – qualities that the jury felt are apparent in both his personal and his commercial work. It stated that Olaf is “the author of an oeuvre that exudes passion for the profession, is exceptionally rich in its pictorial quality, and remains agile in its development.”
The Johannes Vermeer Award is a state prize for the arts, established to honour and encourage outstanding artistic talent. The award includes a cash prize of €100,000 intended for the creation of a special project. The prize may be awarded to an artist working in the Netherlands in any disciplines, from dance to design, fashion to music, and writing to painting. Olaf is the third winner of the Johannes Vermeer Award. In 2010, the prize was awarded to director Alex van Warmerdam, and in 2009 it went to opera director Pierre Audi.
The festive Johannes Vermeer Award presentation ceremony took place on Friday, 31 October 2011, in the Prinsenhof, Delft.
The Boekman Foundation, the inter-sectoral study centre for the arts, culture and policy, is organising the award ceremony.