Van Zoetendaal Publishers

Harold Strak – [Verdigris] / Harold Strak

In the new photo book VERDIGRIS by Harold Strak (1959) the photos from the last 25 years tumble over each other. Cityscapes are alternated with still lifes, photos of archaeological objects excavated during the construction of the Amsterdam North/South line, are placed next to photos of insects printed in silver on black paper, starry skies. There are views out of a window.
An abandoned print of a pigeon (p.53), which has flown against the window glass of the studio, is just as important as a well-thumbed photographed glass negative (p.52). Some objects return in the book, such as the old plane tree that Strak sees every day from his studio window. There is even a historical photo from 1857 (photographer unknown) from the Amsterdam city archive showing the then still young plane tree behind a wall. The current alley is at that time still a narrow canal between the Amsterdam houses. A contemporary pendant to that photo returns on page 66.
The second photo in the book is a slide made by his father Hans who was a fervent amateur photographer. It’s a landscape in Rhodesia from 1961 where Strak’s mother is flanked by his sister and the photographer hopping at a very young age towards, it seems, the promised land.
The promised land is a metaphor for the book itself. All photos have been carefully selected from Strak’s oeuvre and assembled in an associative melody. A personal image rhyme. However different in subject, or date, they fit together seamlessly. He even captured the Oudezijds Achterburgwal on which the alley of his studio opens during the pandemic in 2020, where the mountain on the horizon in the promised land has been transformed into a colossal floating heart at the horizon.
Harold Strak’s specialized handling of photographic techniques, its material expression, is again visible in offset printing on various Japanese papers selected especially for this book, a lithographic masterpiece. After the Amsterdam Stuff image atlas, it is another highlight in the long-term collaboration with companion and designer Willem van Zoetendaal. Writer and poet Vrouwkje Tuinman wrote an intriguing epilogue in the book.
Order Book book @ €45.00
  • Year 2022
  • Size 184x250 cm
  • Colour 6 colours
  • Binding Japanese/French folded
  • Pages 120
  • Text Vrouwkje Tuinman
  • Concept Strak/Van Zoetendaal
  • Design Willem van Zoetendaal
  • ISBN 978-90-72532-51-0
Order Book book @ €45.00
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