Almersia by Rineke Dijkstra
Photography by Dutch artist Rineke Dijkstra, now in a retrospective exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum, are haunting portraits of the difficult transition into adulthood. Compared to the paintings of the Dutch masters, whose subjects resist intimacy, Dijkstra's portraits are similarly illusive. With 70 photographs in all, works are grouped buy theme or location. One series of a young Bosnian refugee, Almersia, is particularly engrossing. Dijkstra documented Almersia as a young girl seeking asylum beginning in 1994, and continued to photograph her for over a decade.
In addition to the striking photographs there are also five videos featuring nightclubs from the mid-1990s and, most recently, two 2009 videos on how people engage with art. Dijkstra studied photography in art school but did not begin her professional career until she began taking photographs of herself after taking physical therapy for a serious injury. From self-portraits, she moved into the stunningly realistic, no-frills portraits that made her name. 1071 Fifth Ave., 212-423-3587