Van Zoetendaal Publishers

Jun 21, 2013

Frido Troost


Today I will attempt to write another blog. My very good friend Frido Troost (1960 – 2013) died on April 2 of this year. I had known Frido since 1994, in the time that he was working at the Gerrit Rietveld Akademie in Amsterdam, teaching the history of photography, among other things. From 1995 to 2002, we produced and published a large number of books together under the name of Basalt Publishers. They were all thought-provoking works in which the worlds of historical and contemporary photography merged. Books like Tulipa, Gold Dust (with works by Rineke Dijkstra), Utrecht Goitre (with works by Paul Kooiker), Guaranteed Real Dutch Photomagazine no 1 and 2, and many others. Frido Troost was a treasure hunter and a pioneer. In 2000 he started a vintage photo gallery in Haarlem ICM (Institute for Concrete Matter) in which all the different photography techniques possible were represented. His huge collection was the only photography archive in the Netherlands where you were allowed to browse through the vintage prints without having to wear gloves. The collection could best be described as unconventional and efficiently organised. Thanks to his sharp eye for detail and thorough research, I was honoured to be able to learn a lot about photography from him. He was a passionate aficionado and a key inspiration for many artists, designers and collectors. His enormous collection has recently been acquired by the ACM (Archive of Modern Conflict), totally in compliance with his last wish.

Image from the book Salto Mortale 1998 (Fokker history)

Mar 15, 2013

Angel’s Festival


Recently, I went online to buy A BOOK OF ARAKI BOOKS (1970-2005), published by My expectations were already pretty high after reading all the email announcements proclaiming that ALL 357 of Araki’s books were to be included. Araki is the prime example of an artist who discovered the potential power of the book as a medium as long ago as 1970. His vision has led to a uniquely varied range of fantastic Japanese publications in collaboration with Japanese designers spread across a period of 35 years. These publications alone deserve to have a museum built especially for them. As I opened the package I received in the mail, I wasn’t immediately disappointed by the small, thick format of the book, but I did experience some difficulty trying to open it. The book had been bound so tightly with a huge amount of glue (hotmelt) that I wasn’t able to flick through the pages of the small-scale format. This publication seems to have been produced in a slipshod manner, both in terms of printing and binding, which is highly un-Japanese if you ask me. Or could it be that the publisher wants the reader to turn the pages very carefully?

One effect of this experience for me was that I went across to my bookcase to study the book Angel’s Festival 1992 more closely again – a truly sublime piece of printwork (extra print in red and black), incorporating a range of different paper types, and a book in another format within a book, inconspicuously inserted into the work as a whole. I, and many others with me, have learned from Araki that printwork in its bound form (books/magazines) is the most appropriate stage for photography. Despite the regrettable method of binding, this oeuvre catalogue forms an essential overview of a great master and thoroughly deserves a wider audience.

Mar 5, 2013

WassinkLundgren on show till 17th of March


Don’t miss the solo exhibition of WassinkLundgren in Foam!

Mar 5, 2013

New Special Edition


Sanna Kannisto
URTICACEAE: Urera rzedowskii 2010
pigment archival print
32,9 x 48,3cm
(25 copies)
€485,-/ (€ 650 framed)

Working alongside biologists in the rainforests of Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru and French Guyana, the photographer Sanna Kannisto captures her specimens with the click of a shutter. Using the tools and trappings of the scientific method as a backdrop, Kannisto expands upon the almost futile efforts of science to catalog the chaos of the rainforest, creating scenes where nature is barely held at bay.

“One cannot adequately describe the various aspects of reality in a rainforest, or express them numerically or visually,” Kannisto notes in her book “Fieldwork.” Science and photography may both be inadequate to explain such “immense disorder,” but Kannisto’s efforts, at least, suggest its beauty.

Feb 24, 2013

The Kees Scherer Photobook Award


The jury of The Kees Scherer Photobook Award 2012 nominated three books (from a selection of 145 books) this year: Viviane Sassen – In and out of Fashion, Robert Knoth – Poppy and Frans Zwartjes – The Holy Family.

Feb 22, 2013

The Best Dutch Book Designs of 2012


Today is the day The Best Dutch Book Designs of 2012 are being made public.

This year’s judges were Ada Lopes Cardozo (formerly teacher at the Hague Royal Academy of Arts), Johan Holterman (production advisor at Graphiques, Nijmegen), Rob van den Nieuwenhuizen (designer at Drawswords, Amsterdam), Marlies Visser (designer at Studio Marlies Visser, Haarlem) and Peter de Winter (publisher at 010 Publishers, Rotterdam).

Out of 305 submissions they chose 33 books to be the Best Dutch Book Designs 2012.

This selection is at the same time the Dutch submission to Best Book Design from all over the World in Leipzig, Germany, the international beauty contest for the book.

Later in the year the Best Dutch Book Designs 2012 will be on show at various venues in the Netherlands and abroad, the exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam to begin with.

Among the 33 selected books: Frans Zwartjes – The Holy Family, Paul Kooiker – Heaven and Diana Scherer – Nurture Studies.

Feb 20, 2013



Recently I received an invitation from the Nederlands Fotomuseum for the exhibition ‘Alles is liefde’ [Everything is Love], in the form of a card featuring a superb photo by Ed van der Elsken, Adrienne Moriën en David Niang 1969. The photo, which is displayed on the front cover of the book L’AMOUR (1995), was printed in much darker tones, resulting in a quite important ‘detail’ being conspicuously censored, and splashed right across was the text: ‘WORD VRIEND’ [BECOME A FRIEND] of the Nederlands Fotomuseum, HET GROOTSTE EN ENIGE NATIONALE FOTOMUSEUM MET EEN EIGEN COLLECTIE [THE BIGGEST AND ONLY NATIONAL MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHY WITH ITS OWN COLLECTION]. A good acquaintance of mine pointed the text out to me and we both wondered why the museum would wish to promote itself with such an over the top text within the clearly defined Dutch landscape of photography. Were they scared that they would not be recognised as such, do they feel overwhelmed?

Last weekend I was in the Nutshuis in the Hague, where an intimate yet established photo festival was being held, and I caught myself thinking that at all the photo book exhibitions (both national and international) and photo and art exhibitions I have visited, I rarely came across a promotion stand of the Nederlands Fotomuseum, whereas Huis Marseille, ICM Haarlem, FOAM Amsterdam or Fotomuseum Den Haag, Posteditions, Roma Publishers, KABK Den Haag, Lodewijk van Paddenburgh, Dirk Bakker etc are almost always represented. I am convinced that the best and only way to make friends among like-minded individuals and institutes is to participate wholeheartedly.

Feb 20, 2013

Seeing Things


In 1995, to commemorate the 15 years existence of the Fraenkel Gallery, the book Seeing Things was published. The book contains a stunning collection of photos providing an overview of the entire history of the medium of photography. The photos, superbly lithographed by Robert J. Hennessey, were printed on a one-colour printing press by Sue Medlicott. For each photograph, she sought out separate colours. Tri-tones, quadra-tones, extra solid area colours, different greys printed per image and for each colour dried a whole day before the next colour was applied. More than 80 different colours have been used in the book. And all this on Monadnock paper, un-ironed cotton paper as soft as a silken pyjama. Ever since then I’ve been a great fan of Jeffrey Fraenkel, for me one of the great photography pioneers who is capable of bringing to life historical and contemporary photography in ever-changing contexts. Right up until today. You can find Robert J. Hennessey’s lithography (separations) in the best photography books that matter (e.g. Metropolitan). And Sue Medlicott is now an advisor and supervisor of exceptional book productions for museums and galleries across the globe.

Since his book Seeing Things, Jeffrey Fraenkel has organised many eminent exhibitions with many top photographers such as Robert Adams, Katy Grannan, Hiroshi Sugimotoand many others.

On 3 Januari 2013 (ending 23 March) in his gallery in San Francisco, Jeffrey Fraenkel organised the exhibition and the publication of the book The Unphotographable, featuring photos that try to make the invisible visible, such as the spiritual, dreams and spirits. Once again, the result is a unique and conscientiously curated selection of photos, and the book is again sublimely lithographed by Robert J. Hennessey, and printed by my favourite printer, Massimo Tonolli.

The accompanying image, taken from the book, is Seeing Things no. 21, by Edward Weston, Cloud Mexico, platinum print, 1926.

Feb 12, 2013

Special photo editions

In the new year, VZ will be introducing special photo editions, in addition to the current book publishing and exhibition activities.

Artists with whom Willem van Zoetendaal has previously collaborated as well as new artists will be given the opportunity to develop new works exclusively for VZC – photographs in higher print runs to a maximum of 25, which will be presented to an interested circle of collectors this coming year.

One of the first special editions is a double exposure of an artichoke – a still life by the artist Holger Niehaus. Niehaus makes enthusiastic use of vegetables, fruit, flowers and plants in his work. Using artificial interventions or through a simple technique of ‘stacking’ in relation to a refined photographic framework, he transforms products of nature into fascinating hallucinatory pieces, or natures mortes. In 2010, a major exhibition of his works was held in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag under the title Birne Helene. This special VZ edition measures 23 x 53,5 cm, black/white pigment archival print Untitled 2012, print run 25.

Jan 31, 2013

Düsseldorf Photobook Salon


The Düsseldorf Photobook Salon brings together 30 publishers and photobook sellers during the Düsseldorf Photo Weekend. Van Zoetendaal Publishers will present recently published books like Paul Kooiker – Heaven and Frans Zwartjes – The Holy Family.
The Düsseldorf Photobook Salon Friday, 1 February, preview 12–5 pm, opening 7–10 pm, Saturday, 2nd and Sunday, 3rd 11 am–7 pm.

Diana Scherer will be joining us on Saturday 2 Feb at 2 pm, signing copies of Nurture Studies.


photo: Paul Kooiker, Untitled 2013, pigment archival print, 40x30cm, 1/25, €485,-