2009: Year in Review
This year, Foam's popularity grows exponentially: from 107.000 visitors in 2008 to 190.000 in 2009. This has to do with fan favourites like Richard Avedon and Alexander Rodchenko, but also with cutting-edge exhibitions like Prune - abstracting reality. Young talent gets a spotlight in Foam 3h and the Foam Talent Issue.

13 February - 13 May 2009
Dovima with Elephants, at Cirque D'Hiver, Paris, August, 1955 (detail) © Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon (1923 – 2004) was a legend in his own lifetime, and remains one of the leading photographers of the twentieth century. Rather than portray famous figures in stiff, conventional poses, Avedon’s powerful, subjective manner penetrated the personality of his subject. The exhibition features over 200 works and demonstrates the range of Avedon’s unique vision: from the many portraits of public figures, his ten-metre-long work The Factory, a selection from his famous In the American West series, to photos taken shortly before his death in 2004.

Organized by the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, in collaboration with Foam and the Richard Avedon Foundation. Made possible thanks to Delta Lloyd, Amsterdam Topstad and SNS Reaal.

29 May - 9 September 2009Vecchiano Norte, 1999 (detail) © Massimo Vitali

The Italian photographer Massimo Vitali rose to fame in the late 1990s with large-format colour photos of crowded Italian beaches. With his exceptional eye for detail, Vitali observes what ordinary people do. He is fascinated by recreation, leisure and the holiday atmosphere. Using a large-format camera and taking an elevated perspective gives the artist an extremely wide view and at the same time an exceptionally detailed picture.

Made possible thanks to Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Amsterdam and Excelsior Markiezenfabriek.

29 May - 30 August 2009

Apartment building, Avenue Kwame Nkrumah, Maputo, Mozambique, 2007 (detail) © Guy Tillim

In Avenue Patrice Lumumba, Guy Tillim focuses on the modernist architecture that emerged in countries like Congo, Mozambique, Madagascar, Angola and Benin shortly after they became independent. Many African towns have streets and squares named after Patrice Lumumba, the politician who won the Congolese elections in 1960, when the country gained independence from Belgium.. This architecture symbolised the sense of optimism that permeated the new, post-colonial era. 

4 September  – 22 November 2009

Untitled (Mask), 2009 (detail) © Charlotte Dumas

Charlotte Dumas makes serene, intimate portraits of animals. Shown here in a single exhibition, a new relationship emerges between the portraits of horses, wolves, tigers and other animals. Dumas prefers to photograph animals with a close connection to humans and whom fulfil an important role for us: animals that have been tamed or trained by humans and which serve a particular purpose, whether in an actual task or by their appearance.

Thanks to Galerie Paul Andriesse.

18 September – 9 December 2009
Real Tennis 04, 2008 (detail) © Elliott Wilcox

The exhibition PRUNE – Abstracting Reality focuses on the complex but intriguing relationship between realism and abstraction in contemporary photography. It has been produced by guest curator Kathy Ryan, photo editor of The New York Times Magazine, in cooperation with Foam.

Made possible with the support of the Mondriaan Foundation.

30 October – 9 December 2009

Untitled 1962-1965 (detail) © Sanne Sannes - Courtesy Kahmann Gallery, Amsterdam

In the relatively short period of time that Sanne Sannes (1937-1967) worked as a photographer, he managed to build up a unique portfolio. His obsession with the erotic force of the female was overpowering. Sannes photographed women over and over again in ecstatic sessions, during which he portrayed them at their most intimate.

18 December 2009 – 17 March 2010
Radio Listener, 1928 (detail) © Alexander Rodchenko

Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956) is one of the great innovators of twentieth-century avant-garde art and one of its most versatile practitioners. Having first gained international acclaim as a painter, sculptor and graphic designer, Rodchenko took up the practice of photography in the early 1920s, convinced that it would become the artistic medium of his era. The exhibition contains more than 200 vintage photographs, some of which have never been exhibited in the West before.

Made in collaboration with the Moscow House of Photography.


Jake, from the series In the Shadow of Things, 2007 (detail) © Leonie Purchas

In March 2009, Leonie Purchas (b. 1978, USA) was chosen by an international jury as winner of the third KLM Paul Huf Award. This prize for young international photographers, organised annually by Foam, includes an exhibition at the museum. For her Foam exhibition, In the Shadow of Things, Purchas photographed her own family. 


The third annual Talent Issue showcases the work of 18 young talented photographers aged between 18 - 35 selected from Foam’s annual Talent Call. Chosen from over 900 portfolios submitted from at least 56 countries - the Talent Issue aims to collate and investigate the future of photography.

> View the Foam Magazine Talent Issue 2009


Installatie Saskia Dommisse in Foam 3h, 2009 © Foam

In 2009, the following artists were asked to present their work in Foam's project space for young talent, Foam 3h: 

Dieuwertje Komen & Elian Somers
Jan-Dirk van der Burg
Saskia Dommisse
Emilie Hudig
Kim Boske
Ruth van Beek

> See the entire 3h history


Installation shot Photography in Reverse - Corry Archangel, 2009 © Foam

Garance Doré  | Dutch Seen: New York Rediscovered | Gerda Leo | Marks of Honour | NY Perspectives (Stadsarchief) | Foam in Van Loon:  Bart Julius Peters | Photography - in Reverse 

Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, City of Amsterdam, Delta Lloyd, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.

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2009: Year in Review