Erwin Olaf

PhotographerYseult Chehata
PrizeSilver in Book (series Only) / Fine Art
Entry Description

This book brings together for the first time three of the artist’s series—Rain, Hope, and Grief. Included is a first comprehensive look at his film work, through stills and an accompanying DVD that offers an overview of five of his movies, each related to the series featured in the book. In each series, Olaf creates his own enigmatic and enticing worlds, blending together a Norman Rockwell-style kitsch, a film noir intensity, and a strangeness reminiscent of the films of American filmmaker David Lynch. The work wryly celebrates America of the 1950s and 1960s with stereotypical characters, including cheerleaders, a boy scout, a housewife, a young couple, and a sailor. He explores issues of beauty, loneliness, and despair, expressed in an individual style that combines fashion, cinema, history and advertising. Aperture—located in New York’s Chelsea art district—is a world-renowned non-profit publisher and exhibition space dedicated to promoting photography in all its forms. Aperture was founded in 1952 by photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Morgan, and Minor White; historian Beaumont Newhall; and writer/curator Nancy Newhall, among others. These visionaries created a new quarterly periodical, Aperture magazine, to foster both the development and the appreciation of the photographic medium and its practitioners. In the 1960s, Aperture expanded to include the publication of books (over five hundred to date) that comprise one of the most comprehensive and innovative libraries in the history of photography and art. Aperture’s programs now include artist lectures and panel discussions, limited-edition photographs, and traveling exhibitions that show at major museums and arts institutions in the U.S. and internationally.

About Photographer

Aperture—a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to advancing photography in all its forms—was founded in 1952 by six gifted individuals: photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Morgan, and Minor White; historian Beaumont Newhall; and writer/curator Nancy Newhall. With scant resources, these visionary artists created a new periodical, Aperture magazine, to serve photographers and photography enthusiasts worldwide. As the medium flourished, so too did Aperture Foundation, expanding to include the subsequent publication of books (over four hundred to date); limited-edition photographs and portfolios; artist lectures and symposia; and a traveling exhibitions program that since its inception has presented over one hundred exhibitions at major museums and cultural institutions throughout the United States and abroad.