Ruud van Empel  (Dutch, 1958) 

Rudd van Empel (Dutch, b. November 21, 1958) is an artist from Breda, The Netherlands, best known for his work in the field of visual arts. Though he started out working as a graphic designer, he found photography and videography more interesting. After graduating Cum Laude in 1981 from the Academie St. Joost in The Netherlands, he started working in photography, video arts, and theater.

Some of the artist’s early work involved staged photography and videos, which he gave away for free. In the 1980s, van Empel worked as a creative designer for theater productions, television shows, and movies. As part of his job, he created posters which those productions used in advertising campaigns. He changed his style in the 1990s, using digital manipulation to create new photographs. During this time, he worked on a series titled The Office, which showed typical office workers in non-traditional settings. In the late 1990s, he started to work on the series Study for Women. Each image in the series showed a female model in a different setting. Some of the images showed women in old-fashioned undergarments, while others showed women in modern clothing. His work often mixes elements that lead the viewer to question the impact of technology on the modern world.

van Empel is known for using Photoshop and other computer programs in his works. He usually photographs several models and takes images of animals, plants, and other items in nature before using computer software to combine those elements. Many museums around the world have included his work as part of a permanent collection, including the C-Photo Collection in London, England, the Chaney Collection in Houston, TX, The Alturas Foundation in San Antonio, TX, and The Generali Foundation in Vienna, Austria. His series Study in Green, which showed children in various tropical settings, is now available as a book. The Dutch National Television Network honored van Empel in 2011 with the television special Beyond Innocence, which focused on his work with children. van Empel currently works and lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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Ruud van Empel, World # 9


Ruud van Empel
World # 9

Auction: Apr 26, 2014
Santa Monica Auctions
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Ruud van Empel, Untitled


Ruud van Empel
Hamburg Kennedy Photographs
Ruud van Empel, World 34


Ruud van Empel
World 34
Hamburg Kennedy Photographs
Ruud van Empel, World # 21


Ruud van Empel
World # 21
Ikkan Art International
Ruud van Empel, Untitled #3


Ruud van Empel
Untitled #3

Past auction results (94)  View All
Ruud van Empel, Untitled #1


Ruud van Empel
Untitled #1


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Ruud van Empel, Untitled #2


Ruud van Empel
Untitled #2, 2005
cibachrome, dibond and Plexiglass


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Ruud van Empel, Naarden study no 9


Ruud van Empel
Naarden study no 9, 2002
cibachrome print


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1958   Born in Breda, The Netherlands,
1976 - 1981   Academy of Fine Arts Sint Joost Breda
  Lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2014   Ruud van Empel, NoordBrabants Museum, 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
2013   Ruud van Empel, FoMu, Fotomuseum Antwerpen, Belgium
2012   Ruud van Empel, Curated by Deborah Klochko, MoPA-Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, USA
2011   New Photographs, Stux Gallery, New York, NY (Solo)
Solo Exhibition curated by Ruud Schenk, Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands
"Solo Exhibition", Paris, Beijing PhotoGallery, Beijing, China
foto(=)kunst, Museum Het Valkhof, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
2010   Generations, Jarg Geismar-Ruud van Empel, TZR Galerie Kai Brückner, Düsseldorf, Germany
Fantastische Fotografie, Curated by Sandrine van Noort & Rommert Boonstra, LUMC Leiden, The Netherlands
Small Adults curated by Sagi Refeal, Shary Arye Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
Kunstprojekt Elders, Curated by Marc Volger, Stichting Dommel in Beeld Brabant, The Netherlands
At the Edge: Subversive Ideas and New Forms, Portsmouth Museum of Fine Art, Portsmouth, VA
Portraits of the 21st Century, Gorcums Museum, Gorinchem, The Netherlands
The Valkhof Experience, Museum Het Valkhof, Nijimegen, The Netherlands
Generations: New Photographs, Stux Gallery, New York, NY
Wonder, Flatland Gallery, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Aanwinsten: Stillevens van Ruud van Empel, NoordBrabants Museum 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
Ruud van Empel: Retrospective, Art+Art Gallery, Moscow, Russia
Vintage! Ruud van Empel, Flatland Gallery, Utrecht, The Netherlands
2009   Dawn, Souvenir, World, Moon, Stux Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Souvenir, Flatland Paris, Paris, France (solo)
Souvenir, TZR Gallery Kai Brückner, Düsseldorf, Germany (solo)
Ruud van Empel, Curated by Jana Bömer, Leica Galerie LGP, Prague, Czech Republic
2009 Ulsan International Photography Festival, Ulsan Culture and Arts Center, Ulsan, Korea
Visual Intersection, Hangaram Design Museum, Seoul Arts Center, Seoul, Korea
Smile, Stad als Canvas, Anti-Crisis AHA-Kunstprojekt, Hasselt, Belgium
Dawn, Moon, World: New photo works by Ruud van Empel, Gallery Terra Tokyo, Noa Blgd, Tokyo, Japan
Flower Power, Curated by Andrea Busto, Villa Giulia - CRAA Centro Ricera arte Attuale, Turin, Italy
Picturing Eden, Curator Deborah Kolchko, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL
Picturing Eden, 21C Museum, Louisville, KY
The Elton John AIDS Foundation Portfolio, Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, GA
Aussich aufs Leben, Curated by Ate Noll & Prof. Kris Scholz, Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie, Darmstädt, Germany
Humor, Brandenburgische Kulturstiftung Cottbus, Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk, Cottbus, Germany
2008   Solo Exhibition, CB Collection Roppongi Noa Blgd, Tokyo, Japan
Solo Exhibition, Curated By Matthias Rataiczyk & Christin Müller-Wenze, Kunstverein Talstrasse E.V., Halle, Germany
Playground, Ruarts Foundation, Moscow, Russia
The Enchanted Garden, The New Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
The Take off, Schnuck Collectors House, Glaspaleis, Stadsgalerij
Heerlen, Schnuck Collectors House, The Netherlands
Oh L'amour, Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ
Diana und Acteon Curated by Beat Wismer, Museum Kunst palast, Düsseldorf, Germany
Picturing Eden, Curated by Deborah Klochko, Museum of Art, Utica, NY
Holland zonder haast, Fotografie uit de jaren vijftig, Scheringa Museum voor Realisme Spanbroek, The Netherlands
De Droomfabriek, CBK Almere Haven, Almere, The Netherlands
From Head to Toe, Stux Gallery, New York Curated by Stefan Stux, New York, NY
2007   Coleccion Josep Civit, La vida privada, CDAN Centro de Arte Y Naturaleza, Huesca, Spain
Group Exhibition, Curated by Dick Breebaart, Fotofestival Naarden 2007, Naarden, The Netherlands
Exotica, Curated by Martin Rogge, Flatland Gallery, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Aktuelle Porträte aus Holland, Curated by Henrik Barends, Galerie 4, Galerie Fotografie, Cheb, Czech Republic
Picturing Eden, Curated by Deborah Klochko, University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, IA
Photography, Catherine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, CA
ART MIAMI, Stux Gallery, NY, Palm Beach, FL
Photo Miami, TZR Galerie Kai Bruckner DE, Miami, FL
Scope Miami, TZR Galerie Kai Bruckner, Miami, FL
This is not a Portriat, Curated by Jo Ann Conklin The David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University, RI
World, Stux Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
World and other series, Curated by Frank van der Schoorseum de Valkhof, Nijmegen, The Netherlands (solo)
World, Curated by Martin Rogge, Galerie Rabouan-Moussion, Paris, France (solo)
2006   PERFECTION/IMPERFECTION, Stux Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
World, Flatland Gallery, Utrecht, The Netherlands (solo)
World, TZR Galerie Kai Brückner, Düsseldorf, Germany (solo)
World Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, GA (solo)
Six Degrees of Separation, Curated by Stefan Stux, Stux Gallery, New York, NY
Group Show, Curated by Olga Sviblova, 6th Photography Biennale, House of Photography, Moscow, Russia
Scope Miami, TZR Galerie Kai Brückner, Miami, FL
Paris Photo, Flatland Gallery, Paris, France
ART Cologne, Messe Köln, TZR Galerie Kai Brückner, Köln, Germany
Scope London, TZR Galerie Kai Brückner, London, UK
Out of Context, The Art Omni International Arts Center, The Fields Sculpture Park, New York, NY
D-FOTO, Flatland Gallery, San Sebastian, Spain
ART Brussels, Flatland Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
SCOPE New York, Stux Gallery, New York, NY
2005   SCOPE Miami, TZR Galerie, Miami, FL
La Revanche du Collage, Curated by Henrik Barends, Foto Antwerpen 2005, Gallery Baudelaire, Antwerp, Belgium
ART Cologne, TZR Galerie, Köln, Germany
Berliner Liste, Caprice Horn Galerie, Berlin, Germany
Paris Photo, Jackson Fine Art Gallery (Atlanta, GA) Paris, France
KUNSTRAI/Art Amsterdam, Jan van Hoof Galerie, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Scope New York, TZR Galerie, New York, NY
H X B X D RABO Kunstcollectie, Curated by Marieke van Schijndel, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Den Haag, The Netherlands
Fotoserie Cultuur van Brabant, Noord Brabants Museum, s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands (solo)
A summary of Photo-Worlds 1996-2004, Curated by Kai Brückner, Caprice Horn Galerie, Berlin, Germany (solo)
Digitale schilderkunst, Curated by Catharien Romijn,DSM Hoofdkantoor, Heerlen, The Netherlands (solo)
Ruud van Empel, Fotowerken, Jan van Hoof Galerie, s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
2004   Solo Exhibition, Curated by Henrik Barends, Gallery Baudelaire, Antwerpen, Belgium
Study in Green, TZR Galerie für bildende kunst, Bochum, Germany (solo)
PARIS PHOTO, TZR Galerie Paris, France
Group Exhibition, Curated by Dorothée Luczak, Quatrieme Biënnale internationale de la Photgraphie et de Arts Visuels, Liége, Belgium
2003   Magisch Realisme in Context, Scherina Museum Voor Realisme, Spanbroek, The Netherlands
Boundless, Curated by Dick Breebaart, Fotofestival Naarden, Grote kerk Naarden, The Netherlands
The Office, Curated by Frits Gierstberg Fotobiennale Rotterdam, Fotogalerij Erasmus faculteit Rotterdam, The Netherlands
2002   Het Verlies van Onschuld, Curated by Moniek IJzermans, Universiteit van Tilburg, FAXX Tilburg, The Netherlands
Oog in Oog, Curated by Adriaan Monshouwer, Kunsthal de Remise, SBK Amsterdam, The Netherlands
ARCO Art fair, Galeria Berini Madrid, Spain
2001   Art-Twente, Curator Han Steenbruggen – Enschede, The Netherlands
ARCO-Art fair, Galeria Berini, Madrid, Spain
Fragments, MUA's Four Halls, Universitat d'Alcant, Spain
2000   28 women, curated by Mariona Fernández, Galeria Berini, Barcelona, Spain (solo)
The Office, Curated by Mariona Fernánde, Primavera Photografica, Caligrama Galeria, Barcelona, Spain (solo)
The Office, Curated by Mariona Fernánde, Cartagena Galeria, Murcia, Spain (solo)
The Office, Curated by Mariona Fernánde, Encontros da Imagem, Braga, Portugal (solo)
1999   Photographics, Curated by Adriaan van der Have, Carmen Oberst Kunstraum, Hamburg, Germany (solo)
The Office, Curated by Adriaan van der Have, Fotoforum - Armando Museum, Amersfoort, The Netherlands (solo)
Waterpas of optisch recht?" Curated by Han Steenbruggen, Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands (solo)
Wonderland, Fotomanifestatie Noorderlicht, Kunstbureau Arteria Groningen, The Netherlands (solo)
1998   New Photographics, Curated by Adriaan van der Have, Torch Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)
ART Cologne, Torch Gallery Amsterdam, The Netherlands
S.B.K. Photography weekend, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Charlotte Kohlerprize Winners 1988-1998, Arti et Amicitiae, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  The Alturas Foundation, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.
Arad Collection, London, U.K.
Arne Zimmerman Collection, New York, U.S.A.
C-Photo Colloection, London, U.K.
CB Collection, Tokyo, Japan
Chaney Collection, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
Collectie Erasmus Universiteit, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
David Roberts Collection, London, U.K.
Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.A.
DSM Art-Collection, Heerlen, The Netherlands
Eneco Energie, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Sir Elton John Collection, Atlanta, U.S.A. and London, U.K.
Fundación N.M.A.C., Cadiz, Spain
The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Den Haag, The Netherlands
Groninger Museum, Groningen, The Netherlands
Generali Foundation, Vienna, Austria
George Eastman House, Rochester, New York, U.S.A.
The Hoboken Photo-Collection, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
ING Real Estate Photography Collection, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Isala klinieken, Zwolle, The Netherlands
Jeff Morr Collection, Miami, U.S.A.
Colección Juan Redón, Barcelona, Spain
Christian Louboutin, Paris, New York
MoPA Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, California, U.S.A.
Nerman Museum, Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.A.
The Essential Collection Rabobank Nederland, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Collection Rabobank Groningen e.o., Groningen, The Netherlands
Collection Rabobank West-Flakkee, Stellendam, Zeeland, The Netherlands
Collection Rabobank Midden Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beack, Florida, U.S.A.
Reflex Miniature Museum of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Scheringa Museum voor Realisme, Spanbroek, The Netherlands
Maxine Taupin, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
Museum Het Valkhot, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel
VU MC Collection, Amsterdam, The Netherlands