Shows & Events

  • Solo show

    Lines and Lineage at PhEST in Italy

    The FESTIVAL INTERNAZIONALE DI FOTOGRAFIA E ARTE (PhEST) in Monopoli, Italy is exhibiting my Lines and Lineage prints.

    1 September to 1 November 2023

    Lines and Lineage solo exhibition
    Stalle di Casa Santa
    70043 Monopoli BA

    About the work

    Lines and Lineage takes aim at America’s collective amnesia of history. The work addresses the missing photographic record of the period when Mexico ruled what we now know as the American West. To visualize the people and places from the remarkable yet unseen Mexican era, I chose to photograph the region with glass plates and a 19th-century wooden camera. Portraits of direct descendants of early inhabitants of the West—mestizo, Afro-Latin, indigenous, Crypto-Jewish—are paired with photographs of landscapes inside the original border and architecture from the Mexican period. Lines and Lineage lifts the pervasive fog of dominant Western mythology and makes us question the role that photographs—both present and missing—have played in shaping the identity of the West. The work will be published as a monograph by Radius Books in Autumn 2019.


    Reviews and praise for Lines and Lineage

    “…Using a North American map from 1839 (the same year that photography is thought to have made its debut in Europe), Mr. van Houtryve traveled along Mexico’s old northern border to meet families who have lived in the region for centuries.

    His equipment in the Instagram age? A 19th-century camera he found in a Paris antique shop. He stocked up on the glass plates and pungent potions needed for the wet-collodion process, a technique invented in 1851. Doing so, Mr. van Houtryve conjures what the West may have looked like in the Mexican era…”

    — Simon Romero in The New York Times


    “His portraits are carefully researched and historically relevant – all of his subjects are descendants of the area’s original Mexican inhabitants. Quiet and dignified, the images pay tribute to Nadar, whose powerful portraits Van Houtryve admires. He focuses on his subjects’ eyes, conveying a sense of their interior life. He presents the work in diptychs that juxtapose portraits with romantic landscapes, reflecting an intimate connection between humans and nature…”

    — Elisabeth Biondi in Photograph Magazine


    “…Photographing the descendants of families who live on the once-Mexican territory, Van Houtryve proves their existence within a dominant narrative that often ignores them. Using traditional nineteenth century photographic techniques, like wet plate glass negatives, the artist taps into the aesthetic of the 1800s…”

    — Zachary Small in Hyperallergic


    Artist interview video


    More info.

  • Solo show

    Major Exhibition in front of the Notre Dame cathedral of Paris

    Notre-Dame: La Renaissance d’une Icon
    solo exhibition, from spring 2023 to summer 2024

    Parvis de Notre-Dame
    Paris, 75004

    Notre Dame: Rebuilding an Icon is a major exhibition featuring 21 large-scale photographs by Tomas van Houtryve, offering an exceptional view into the heart of the cathedral and its history. The solo show is located on the main square (parvis) in front of the Notre Dame cathedral of Paris and is open through summer 2024.

    The outdoor exhibition features two sections. The first, The Cathedral After the Fire, features color photographs of the aftermath of the April 2019 fire that struck Notre Dame and the beginning of its massive restoration.

    For the second section, Echoes of the Past, Tomas van Houtryve used a 19th-century wooden camera and the wet-plate collodion process to photograph the cathedral and make portraits of workers, scientists and artisans engaged in the rebuilding. The black-and-white photos seek parallels with Notre Dame’s previous restoration in the middle of the 19th-century, lead by the architect Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc.

    Artist statement:

    “My visits to Notre Dame left me inspired by the remarkable challenges of rebuilding and by the depth of the structure’s meaning: Notre Dame is more than a cathedral, and it has many facets.

    The epicenter of historic events, a perennial muse, and a reoccurring motif, Notre Dame has been photographed since the very introduction of photography in 1839. To pay homage to its past, I decided to use two photographic approaches. This first color series highlights the exceptional scale and diversity of the current task.

    Even in its most damaged state, Notre Dame remained a place of awe and veneration. As I explored the cathedral to document the aftermath of the fire and the beginning of the restoration, I was often struck by strong emotions. Rather than ignore this flood of intangible feelings, I tried to channel them into photographs.”

    About the artist:

    A contributor to National Geographic since 2012, Tomas van Houtryve uses a range of contemporary and early techniques, continually questioning and reinventing his approach to image making. For his previous work, he was awarded the ICP Infinity Award, the Bayeux Prize for War Correspondents, and the Roger Pic Award. He has been a member of the VII photo agency since 2010 and is represented by the Baudoin Lebon gallery.

    The exhibition was produced by the public establishment responsible for the conservation and restoration of Notre Dame de Paris’s cathedral in partnership with National Geographic. The photographs are accompanied with graphics by Fernando Gomez Baptista. 

    Coinciding with the exhibition, a special collection of fine art prints are available for a limited time.

    The exhibition was announced on CNN. Many of the photos were first published in the Feb. 2022 cover story of National Geographic.




    More info.