"Football is a part of our culture and football fields form part of our landscape. There are proportionately more grounds in Holland then in any other country in the world."—Hans van der Meer
In conjunction with the exhibition Nature as Artifice: New Dutch Landscape in Photography and Video Art at Aperture Gallery and coinciding with the four-hundredth anniversary of the arrival of Henry Hudson to New York Harbor aboard the Dutch vessel Halve Maen, Aperture is pleased to offer this special limited-edition photograph by Hans van der Meer.
Aartswoud is from Van der Meer's well-known and highly collected Dutch Fields series; it is also the cover image for his book Hollandse Velden, which was highlighted in Gerry Badger and Martin Parr's The Photobook: A History, Volume 1. Much of van der Meer's work deals with the observation and exploration of urban space and landscape in projects focusing on urban development in the Netherlands.
In Dutch Fields, the artist made photographs of low-division amateur football games, looking for football in its original form as it was played more than a hundred years ago: on a piece of land, with twenty-two players, and without spectators. The artist focused on fields that "popped up" in the landscape more or less spontaneously and where the importance of football was palpable.
Hans van der Meer (born in Leimuiden, the Netherlands, 1955) has published numerous books of his own photographs and of archival images. His work is included in major international collections and he has had solo exhibitions at the National Media Museum, Bradford, England; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Centro Portugûes de Fotografia, Porto; National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan; and Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam. He is a contributing editor at Useful Photography.
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