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Gerard Petrus Fieret (1924-2009)

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If you ask the many photograph collectors in the Netherlands….who is the most important photographer from the 60’s and 70’s in the Netherlands?…my guess is more than 50% percent will answer…FIERET.

For the last 2 decades in his lifetime, Fieret led a secluded life, out of the way from ordinary people …feeding his pigeons on a daily basis and making drawings…many many drawings. He even locked himself up for almost a month to decorate an entire room within the Gemeentemuseum with his drawings.

But in the early sixties and seventies his main activity was making photographs. Making them from a very personal perspective and “signing” them with studio stamps all over the photo. Fieret had a keen eye and took his photographs from a different angle and perspective, making them stand out from other photo’s from these decades. Favorite of his were young woman who posed for him and of course many street scenes and thus documenting the sixties in the Netherlands. Since 15 years or so the work of Fieret has been exhibited in other countries outside the Netherlands too. the Deborah Bell gallery showed his works for the first time in the US and this catalogue a.o.  is available at www.ftn-books.com

This is what Gaby Wood said about the first time she encountered the photo by Fieret:

Like most people outside Holland, I had never seen Fieret’s work before, and the Rijksmuseum’s examples are not, it turns out, all that typical. He is best known for his female nudes, but the images I saw were more ethereal. Nevertheless, I was drawn to them immediately: a large, dark print showing a milky-white little girl, blurred almost to the point of abstraction; a faded interior, so fuzzy it bordered on double-exposure; the self-portrait of a bearded man, in a style that looked barely intentional but whose subject seemed full of concentration.

The prints themselves were rough: full-bleed, manhandled and mildewed around the edges; brashly signed in fat-tipped black pen. Some of them had been stamped several times across the front: “Copyright Gerrit Petrus Fieret”, defaced and claimed at the same time. They appeared to have been discarded – not just because of their strange presentation but because they still felt feverish with experiment, as if they were pages torn from a sketchbook, or pictures of memories rather than of actual scenes.

The effect is hard to describe: photography is a realist medium – it’s not supposed to be able to sketch or imagine. But evidently, for a decade beginning in the mid-Sixties, Gerard Fieret’s work did. Looking at it in the museum it was impossible not to wonder: who was this man, and how did his pictures get that way?

I have heard that in the next few years the collection of photographs by Fieret will be travellng all over the world . If i know of dates and venues i will post them on this site.

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