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Rineke Dijkstra at SFMOMA

Yesterday I was utterly knocked out at the press preview for SFMOMA's new show "Rineke Dijkstra: Retrospective." I'd seen the Dutch photographer's work before in dribs and drabs, but taken as a whole her brand of unflinching portraiture is overwhelming. Dijkstra's photos tend to come in series—adolescents at the beach, a Croatian refugee shot over a span of decades, teenagers in the park—and much of their power comes in a sustained yet varied look at a particular subject. The shots tend to be head-on and massive, at once making heroes of her subjects and opening them up to close scrutiny. Here's a selection of Dijkstra's work, which is on view from February 18th through May 28th in San Francisco. It's her first show of this size in the United States.

Rineke Dijkstra, Olivier, The French Foreign Legion, Camp Général de Gaulle, Libreville, Gabon, June 2, 2002, 2002; chromogenic print; 49 5/8 in. x 42 1/8 in. ; Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York & Paris; © Rineke Dijkstra

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