For Conversation Piece VI, Rineke Dijkstra has combined her photographs of children and adolescents with paintings in the Frans Hals Museum. Rineke Dijkstra’s work is often placed in the tradition of seventeenth-century Dutch painting; in this exhibition it is easy to see why. Dijkstra is fascinated by the way an artist can reflect someone’s personality, with all its complexities and contrasts, as accurately as possible in a single portrait. The look in the eyes is absolutely essential, but elements like the light, the background and the sitter’s pose can also tell us a surprising amount.
With the series Conversation Piece, the Frans Hals Museum wants to encourage visitors to take a fresh look at the 16th and 17th-century collection of paintings. By juxtaposing these works with modern and contemporary art, surprising links are laid between highly varied styles and periods in the history of art. The museum demonstrates that even though certain perceptions and opinions have a long history they are nevertheless still valid today and continue to be revisited and explored.