Erwin Olaf: Recent Work

29 April - 4 June 2010

Recent Work, Erwin Olaf's second solo exhibition at Hamiltons, introduced Dawn & Dusk, first shown at The Museum of The City of New York.


Dawn & Dusk is a two-part series of distinct halves. Dusk, shot black-on-black, presents middle class African Americans in 20th Century environments. Inspired by reactions to an exhibition of his work in North Carolina, and the discovery of a set of photographs taken in 1900 of African Americans in Virginia by Frances Benjamin Johnston, Olaf set about his new series with great incentive. Dawn was subsequently inspired by a trip to Moscow, when Olaf observed a Russian family interacting in a room decorated in pale, muted colours, he immediately envisioned the Dusk series reversed as white-on-white.


The exhibition also featured new images from the series Hotel, where models pose elegantly, provocatively or demurely in replica hotel guest rooms across the world, with subtle differences such as a discarded shoe or a lit message on an answer phone. The subjects gaze into the distance and evoke an uneasy, disconnected sense of mystery, a sense of internal restlessness or longing.


These works present a continuation of Olaf's exploration of mood, period and style as begun in his trilogy Rain, Hope and Grief, shown at Hamiltons in late 2008.