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Rineke Dijkstra, Self-portrait, Marnixbad, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, June 19, 1991, color photograph, 24 7/16 x 20 1/2".

Rineke Dijkstra

Rineke Dijkstra, Self-portrait, Marnixbad, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, June 19, 1991, color photograph, 24 7/16 x 20 1/2".

ENTERING RINEKE DIJKSTRA’S SURVEY at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, one was greeted by an arresting image of a young woman standing in a bathing suit and cap, wet, looking exhausted after a swimming workout. The solitary figure is centered before a nondescript background and addresses the lens with a locked, frontal gaze. Although the photograph undoubtedly required significant planning—shot as it was with a large-format camera and set-up lighting—it nevertheless has the air of a candid snap, seeming to capture the decisive moment when physical exertion overtakes the niceties of social performance. Dijkstra’s iconic Self-portrait, Marnixbad, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, June 19, 1991 fittingly inaugurated this first American retrospective of the fifty-two-year-old Dutch artist—not only because it pictures the artist herself, but because it holds many of the

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