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22.04.22 - 08.05.22

A lifetime of photography

Hans Zoete

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Tribute to Hans Zoete with highlights from his photographic oeuvre.

With the publication of a book and an exhibition at Pennings Foundation, photographer Hans Zoete is put in the spotlight by his friends and family.

Hans Zoete (1948) was trained as a visual artist at the art academy in Den Bosch and has been involved in photography since 1983. First as a documentary photographer, later as a photo teacher, exhibition maker, staff member at the Nederlands Fotomuseum, as a photography and visual arts consultant at the Centrum voor Amateurkunst and as director of Museum 't Oude Slot and De Verdieping in Veldhoven.

Hans Zoete is best known in Eindhoven as a photo teacher at the CKE and as a supervisor of photo clubs. In 1994 he takes the initiative to organize a photo festival: Foto Manifestatie Eindhoven. Until 2000 he organizes four editions together with Harry Pennings, among others. He remains involved with Galerie Pennings (the predecessor of the Pennings Foundation) as a reviewer during portfolio reviews and through his participation in the lecture committee. He recently donated part of his collection of photo books to the Pennings Foundation library. Hans also has a photo book to his name, 'Harrieke' (1987), about a boy with multiple disabilities.

The exhibition shows an overview of his photographic oeuvre, from 1983 until 1995, the year in which he definitively stopped as a photographer and started to devote himself to photography and the visual arts in different ways.

“I am going to bring to light the beauty of something that would otherwise not be seen.”

As a documentary photographer, he looks for topics that are newsworthy, such as an aid transport to Poland, people travelling to Lourdes, peace activists in Europe and refugee camps in Mexico.

Yet he does not record the news facts, he records what happens around them. In Poland, he does not photograph the Pope's visit, but the public that came to see him.

He prefers to photograph small things that matter. “The cement between the stones”, he calls it. “The beauty of the ordinary, the modest” becomes his leitmotif.

“In photography there are hunters and fishermen. I am a fisherman.”

The book ‘Gezien. Hans Zoete. Foto’s 1983-1995’ (2022) contains texts by Frits Achten and Bouke Zoete and is full of striking statements by Hans.

The book is for sale at Pennings Foundation (35 euro).

The original photo prints are also for sale. The proceeds go to a good cause.

During this exhibition, Pennings Foundation is also open on Sundays.

To register for the opening click here.

Sunday, April 24 15:00 – 17:00
Free entrance, please register.
Register via

Helen Sear, photography, video art, new media art, artcollector, photography, exhibition, gallery

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