Jan Dibbets

Panorama Dutch Mountain 12 x 15° Sea II A


Not on display

Jan Dibbets born 1941
12 photographs, colour, on paper on paper
Support: 751 × 998 mm
Purchased 1973

Display caption

In the late 1960s, Dibbets began to use photography to record and emphasise aspects of the geometry of landscape. This is one of a series of works depicting a beach in Holland in winter, when it was empty of visitors. Dibbets used a camera on a tripod and changed the angle by 15 degrees for each shot, then mounted the resulting photographs as a panorama. The title ‘Dutch Mountain’ ironically relates to the apparently undulating forms that Dibbets created in the characteristically flat Dutch landscape.

Gallery label, April 2009

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Catalogue entry

Jan Dibbets born 1941

T01745 Panorama Dutch Mountain 12 x 15° Sea IIA 1971

Inscribed 'Jan Dibbets 1971 | Panorama Dutch Mountain | 12 x 15° SEA IIA' at bottom of mount. A diagram immediately below the photographs indicates the angles at which they were taken
Twelve colour photographs together, 7 1/2 x 35 3/4 (19 x 91), mounted on paper, 19 1/2 x 39 3/8 (75 x 100)
Purchased from the artist through the Galerie Konrad Fischer, Dusseldorf (Grant-in-Aid) 1973
Exh: Series, Tate Gallery, December 1977-January 1978 (8, repr.)
Repr: exh. catalogue Jan Dibbets, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, November 1972-January 1973, fig.22 (but not exhibited); Edward Lucie-Smith, Art Today from Abstract Expressionism to Superrealism (Oxford 1977), pl.343 in colour

Dibbets told the compiler on 16 November 1973 that this 'Dutch Mountain', like all his beach photographs, was taken at Bloemendaal (Zandvoort). It was made in winter, when the beaches were clear of visitors. The camera was mounted on a tripod and he changed its angle by 15° for each take; the photographs were afterwards mounted to create a panoramic effect. The title 'Dutch Mountain' used for this series was first coined more or less as a joke and of course refers to the apparent undulations of a flat landscape. His concern in works of this type was to build an abstract image and destroy the reality of the photograph, or rather to intensify that reality by destroying it.

Later he added (letters of 12 October 1974 and 3 June 1975) that there is a small study for this work, 51 x 66cm, called 'Dutch Mountains/sea hills' 1971 which belongs to Count Panza di Biumo of Milan and which comprises two different 'Dutch Mountains' made from the same negatives using the left and right parts.

A further version, reproduced in colour by Volker Kahmen, Photography as Art (London 1974), pl.353 as 'Panorama (Dutch Mountains)' 1971, 70 x 70cm, shows the final study for the Tate piece together with the final study for the piece now in the Museum of Modern Art, New York (and made from different negatives) which is entitled 'Panorama Dutch Mountain/SEA IA'. It is in the Burda collection in Munich. He no longer remembers exactly what the A in the titles stood for. He was trying at that time to develop a system for titling his work, but he kept changing it and it never worked out.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.172, reproduced p.172

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