PhotoLexicon, Volume 21, nr. 36 (November 2004) (en)

Koos Breukel

Han Schoonhoven


The photographer Koos Breukel is internationally recognised as an exceptional talent. Remarkably, his unorthodox working style results in portraits that measure up to classic works in photographic history. Combined with his natural-born talent, Breukel’s informal approach to his models and his technical knowledge and skill result in images deserving a place in our collective memory.




Koos Breukel is born on 24 November in The Hague as the third child of Ger Breukel and Riet van Slagmaat. Koos has a sister and two brothers.


Breukel receives his first camera from his mother.


Breukel begins his study at the MTS (Middelbare Technische School, ‘Intermediate Technical School’) for Photography and Photonics in The Hague.


Breukel completes his final exams at the MTS in The Hague.

1986 to Present

Breukel works as a freelance portrait photographer, since 1999 almost on an exclusively autonomous basis.


His photos appear regularly in Dutch magazine publications such as Quote and Oor.


Breukel has his first solo exhibition at Gallery Sign in Groningen during the Noorderlichtfestival (‘Northern Lights Festival’).


Breukel is involved in a serious automobile accident in the Schiphol Airport tunnel outside Amsterdam.


Breukel works as a teacher in the photography department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam.


Breukel is one of six artists showing at an exhibition held at the NAI (Nederlands Architectuur Instituut, ‘Netherlands Architecture Institute’) in Rotterdam. In addition, Breukel has solo exhibitions in Photo Gallery 2 ½ by 4 ½ and at the De Moor Cultural Centre in Amsterdam.


Breukel’s first monograph, entitled Wretched Skin, is released in November. Breukel receives the Incentive Award from the AFK (Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, ‘Amsterdam Fund for the Arts’).


Breukel’s first foreign exhibitions are held in Berlin and Turin. Michael Matthews, friend and theatre-maker, dies in January. Hyde, Breukel’s photographic ode to Michael Matthews appears in June. The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam acquires six works from this series.


The Dutch newspaper Trouw publishes four of Breukel’s portraits depicting the survivors of the Faro (Portugal) air disaster.


Eric Hamelink, a friend and photographer, dies in the summer. The exhibition, Thoughtless Kind/Dagdromer (‘Child/Daydreamer’), appears in December as a photographic monument to Hamelink.


In March, Breukel’s son Casper is born, conceived with Caitlin Hulscher, a friend and video artist.


Breukel’s second monograph, Photo Studio Koos Breukel, is published.


In addition to acquisitions made by various private collectors, representatives of the collections of the company Caldic and the ABN-AMRO Bank acquire photographic work by Breukel.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs acquires photography by Breukel for its collection. Breukel receives a working stipend from the Fonds BKVB (Fonds voor Beeldende Kunst, Vormgeving en Bouwkunst, ‘Netherlands Fund for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture’). The Nederlands Fotomuseum (‘Netherlands Photo Museum’) presents the exhibition Generation. Portretten van Koos Breukel (‘Generation. Portraits of Koos Breukel’).


The exhibition Generation. Portraits by Koos Breukel, travels to museums in Bergen (Norway) and Helsinki (Finland).


Koos Breukel is a portrait photographer. While his work is strongly anchored in tradition, he remains a contemporary photographer. The technique he applies is virtually no different than that of his colleagues 150 years ago, but Breukel stands solidly in the here and now. His personal circumstances and contacts are frequently a determining factor for the themes of his larger projects.

In the early years of his career, Breukel shot numerous photos for magazines and other clients. He today works primarily on photographic series shown in museums and galleries.

The external appearance of Breukel’s photography has developed from being dynamic to extremely austere. In his current portraits, the model typically sits or stands in front of a dark background, with a single lamp or daylight as a light source. This austerity seems appropriate for the most important themes in Breukel’s oeuvre: love and sadness, death and change.

Breukel had a difficult time in secondary school. Because he and his family had lived in Great Britain for a number of years, he was already behind in school. When he came down with mononucleosis, this disadvantage only became greater. A decline in his school grades led to his diminishing interest in the study material. Instead, he spent most of his time speeding around on mopeds and getting into (eventually illegal) mischief.

On his sixteenth birthday, Breukel’s mother—who herself was a skilled amateur photographer—gave him his first camera: a 35 mm mirror reflex. As time passed, he became fascinated with what could be achieved with photography. As yet insecure in his role as a photographer, he concentrated primarily on landscapes.

With his brother’s telephoto lens, Breukel took shots of the moon. Once curiosity overcame his shyness, he began taking portrait photos of people: family, friends, and a girl he liked. He dreamed of leading the life of photographers like Ed van der Elsken: completely free to travel the world, meeting all kinds of people, and taking wonderful photos.

Breukel applied to the MTS voor fotografie en fotonica (Middelbare Technische School, ‘Intermediate Technical School of Photography and Photonics’) in The Hague. He was accepted based on his submission of a portfolio comprising portraits and landscapes. With taking photographs now his only desire in life, he chose not to complete his HAVO (Hoger Algemeen Voortgezet Onderwijs, ‘Higher General Secondary Education’) studies.

During his studies in The Hague, Breukel became friends with Eric Hamelink, who had caught his attention because he was reading a book by Belcampo during the break, while other students were rummaging through the magazines Panorama and Nieuwe Revu in search of photographic treasures. Breukel and Hamelink found one another through their shared ambition in photography. They would continue to inspire each other throughout their studies, eventually sharing a studio together in Amsterdam during their first years as independent photographers.

Breukel’s enthusiasm was sparked when encountering works by major figures of portrait photography. Photos by August Sander, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, and especially Robert Frank strengthened him in his perception that photography was a medium with which he could actually achieve something in life. What precisely that ‘something’ entailed was to take shape in the coming years.

Discouraging remarks made by a number of Breukel’s teachers—’What is it you want to achieve with making these portraits?’ or ‘Don’t you want to become a fashion photographer?’—failed to dissuade him. He remained fascinated by aspects specific to portrait photography: the interaction between the photographer and his model, the flattering, the challenging; in short, the art of persuading a model to show something of himself.

xxx In the years following his study, Breukel travelled on a regular basis, visiting countries such as Egypt, Portugal, Greece, India and Thailand. While taking photos at a busy intersection somewhere in India, at one point a car suddenly pulled up. Its driver turned to Breukel, stuck both of his arms out the window and nodded to him, suggesting ‘take a picture of this’. Intuitively, Breukel did what he asked, and with a second nod, the silent model drove on in his car. Only when making an enlargement of the negative did he see what the man had been holding up: two big thumbs, each with two thumbnails. It was an incident that strengthened Breukel in his conviction to trust his own intuition. His most powerful portraits and travel photos from this period were subsequently compiled together in his first monograph, The Wretched Skin.

A successful portrait photographer possesses both technical and emotional qualities. By no means is it a given that these develop on their own and in harmony. During his studies in The Hague, Breukel received a thorough technical training, but he also could rely on his own inventiveness and enthusiasm. The youthful obsession with the photographic medium that Breukel shared with Hamelink accelerated this development. The two men set up a studio together in a ground-floor apartment on the Willem de Zwijgerlaan in West Amsterdam, where they began using equipment with increasingly larger negative formats. Depending on the subject, Breukel turned to either his 35 mm camera, a 6×6 medium-format camera, or a traditional technical camera (4×5 inch). He also had bigger technical cameras: a Sinar with a negative format of 8×10 inches in the studio, and a Deardorff, a wooden camera with the same negative format. These days, Breukel works almost always in black-and-white and prints everything on baryta paper, including his press photos.

Breukel’s early portraits seem to possess a greater dynamic when compared to his current work. The Dutch celebrities he portrayed in the late 1980s during events at ‘De Waakzaamheid’, a cultural centre in Koog aan de Zaan, were often photographed while they were moving: e.g. a laugh, a grimace, or details such as Jules Deelder’s teeth (a Dutch poet/writer/musician) or the tattoo on his saxophone player’s earlobe.

Breukel’s lively portraits were finding their way into a growing number of magazines, including Quote, a business monthly. It turned out he had a talent for photographing board commissioners, directors, and managers at moments when they were caught off guard. This he achieved by moving a large desk to another spot when least expected, threatening someone with a fake but highly realistic gun, or staging a major argument with an assistant on the spot. On occasion, Breukel’s provocations would result in images that were highly original.

About the time he turned thirty, one could see a shift occurring in the character of Breukel’s work. Gesture made room for maturity: intriguing details were no longer exaggerated, but assigned their own place in the image’s totality. The intensity disappears, the photos become more serene.

Breukel the photographer wants to get to know his model. This by no means implies that he needs a lot of information concerning the person in question. Based on his talent of observing and his highly developed intuition, Breukel trusts he will get to the core. This core is determined by the mentality of the person portrayed, the mental state that becomes perceptible in his model’s body language and facial expression: to put it formally, his or her condition humaine.

In Breukel’s view, the notion that the soul of an individual can be revealed in one shot is arrogant. This old conception of portrait photography dates back to around 1900, when photographers were of the opinion that recognising and capturing someone’s unique character traits could be achieved simply by relating to that person. They sought to achieve a synthesis with a single image, which included the model’s most expressive positions, gestures, and mimicry. Such an approach, referred to as ‘psychological’ portrait photography, was the established norm for many years. Breukel does not believe that one can capture the character of a model during that split second when the negative is exposed to light. Yet he still searches for a unique quality in the person he photographs, with his real interest focusing in on the way he or she deals with personal limitations or sadness. For Breukel, a portrait has the potential to be successful when he manages to photograph his model’s face at a moment when an authentic emotion emerges—something often occurs when the model is completely calm. In such cases, the photo creates a channel for contact between the model and the observer, allowing space for emotion.

For quite some time, Breukel shared a friendly and amiable bond with the actor and writer Michael Matthews. Matthews knew that he was seropositive, but kept it to himself. Once the illness began to manifest itself, he asked Breukel to record its further progression in photographs. Breukel agreed and subsequently documented the inevitable deterioration of Matthews’ body. For Matthews, it was a logical choice for his final performance; for Breukel, it was an inescapable personal assignment. The resulting series of photographs was compiled in a specially designed book entitled Hyde, based on the title of Matthews’ final performance.

In 1992, just before Christmas, a flight of the Dutch airline Martinair went up in flames while attempting to land in Faro, Portugal. Sixty-five people perished in the accident, with many possessing the Dutch nationality. On Dutch television, Breukel—still recovering from the trauma of an automobile accident in a tunnel near Schiphol Airport—witnessed the survivors’ arrival back in the Netherlands. While the press was understandably kept at a distance, the survivors’ faces were hidden beneath coats and blankets, even of those uninjured in the fire. It surprised Breukel that people were hiding their faces, as if a taboo existed on suffering. His desire was to meet with these people, speak to them, and if possible, photograph them. It would lead to an undertaking involving many years.

Based on their friendship and mutual collaboration, Eric Hamelink had been an obvious choice as a model in Breukel’s work since the early 1980s. This also applied vice versa. When Hamelink informed Breukel that had been diagnosed with a serious form of cancer, the two men jointly decided to continue photographing each other, for better or for worse. Images from the two series were initially presented as a cohesive whole. Later, however, they were shown separately at exhibitions and publications of Breukel’s photographic oeuvre.

Breukel’s choice for heavy themes of this nature was by no means a conscious decision. They simply crossed his path. Because these subjects become part of his life, they also become part of his work. In 1993, Breukel was one of six artists showing work at an exhibition held at the NAI (Nederlands Architectuur Instituut, ‘Netherlands Architecture Institute’) in Rotterdam, which focused on the topic of ‘personal living environment’. Breukel’s presentation was particularly remarkable because of the unreserved manner in which he depicted the significant places and moments in his life: the police cell in Alphen aan den Rijn, where he was once temporarily detained; the Schiphol Airport tunnel, where he was involved in a fatal traffic accident; a double portrait of his mother and himself in the apartment where he was born in Kijkduin. Particularly this last image, with its lack of pretension, appears to be an early example a growing stillness in his portraits.

The way in which the different aspects of Breukel’s life are connected is reflected in his living and working space. Around 1993, he moved into an old garage on the Tweede Schinkelstraat in Amsterdam South. Breukel furnished this space to be used solely as he wished. He lives in his studio, with a darkroom next to the kitchen, developing tanks in the bathroom, and the dinner table next to his studio tripod. Every visitor is a potential model: students from the Rietveld Academy, friends, family members, and colleagues. Breukel’s second monograph, entitled Photo Studio Koos Breukel, splendidly documents this practice. Like Hyde, this book was also designed by Willem van Zoetendaal, an important business partner in the photographer’s life that Breukel leads. As director of the Rietveld Academy’s photography department, Van Zoetendaal had hired Breukel as an instructor in 1992. Since 1996, he is also in charge of running Breukel’s gallery. Hedy van Erp, Breukel’s ex-girlfriend and agent, is closely involved with the organisation of his work in her function as a ‘studio manager’.

Since 2000, Breukel has been working more frequently on commissions from museums and other cultural institutions. In that same year, he was commissioned by the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden to shoot portraits of the captains and crew of ‘skûtsjes’, historical ships that participate in competitive sailing across Friesland every summer. For the city of Alphen aan den Rijn, the town where he spent most of his youth, Breukel photographed people who had made an impression on him in those early years. Recently, he photographed farmers in the provinces of North Holland and Friesland for an exhibition on ‘the year of the farm’.

For those familiar with the history of photography, it requires little effort to draw up a list of photographers who may possibly have influenced Breukel: Robert Frank, Youshouf Karsh, Richard Avedon, August Sander, and Nadar were all role models in this sense. If we were to specify the significance of Breukel’s work and assess its place in a tradition he has known and processed, one could say he is one of the few Dutch photographers possibly ranking among the most influential figures in international portrait photography. Is there any other contemporary portrait photographer in the Netherlands whose work displays such a level of humane maturity in the form of photography as powerful as this? While similarities are to be found in the work of Rineke Dijkstra, considering her somewhat deceiving simplicity and museum-like presentation, Breukel nevertheless works more intuitively than conceptually. In terms of the outer appearance of his individual portraits, parallels can be drawn with works by photographers such as Philip Mechanicus, Céline van Balen, and Joost van den Broek. Yet Breukel’s oeuvre possesses a depth that his unique, derived from his personal engagement, talent, and persistence. Even his individual portraits (produced alongside the many series described above) come together in an essay-like compilation, like chapters from the autobiography of the photographer Koos Breukel.


Primary bibliography

Koos Breukel (foto’s) en Michael Matthews e.a. (tekst), The Wretched Skin, Amsterdam (in eigen beheer) 1994.

Michael Matthews (tekst) en Koos Breukel (foto’s), Hyde, Amsterdam (Basalt) 1996.

Koos Breukel (foto’s), Letter & Geest [4 foto’s met tekst van overlevenden van de Faro-vliegramp], in Trouw 20 december 1997.

Koos Breukel (foto’s), Not dark yet. Een foto-expositie van Koos Breukel, in Credits. Reclame. Fotografie. Media. Design (1998) 1,p. 44-45.

Koos Breukel e.a., Dierenleven. 4 essays, Amsterdam (De Verbeelding) 2000, ongepag.

Koos Breukel, ‘de Skûtsjeschippers zijn een beetje mijn vaders geworden’, in Fries Museum Krant zomer 2000, p. 4.

Koos Breukel (foto’s), Photo Studio Koos Breukel, Amsterdam (Basalt/Van Zoetendaal Collections) 2001.


(foto ‘s in boeken, tijdschriften en ander drukwerk)

Oor 1987-1993.

Quote 1987-1993.

Nederlands Theaterboek (1991-1992) 41,

Toneel Theatraal 113 (oktober 1992) 8, p. 15.

Jan Theo Bautz e.a., Zicht op de top, Amsterdam (Egon Zehnder International) 1993.

Catalogus tent. Rock around the Camera – 40 jaar popfotografie in Nederland, Rotterdam (Kunsthal) 1994, p. 62-63.

Taco Anema e.a. (red.), 50 jaar fotografie GKf 1945-1995, Amsterdam (De Verbeelding) 1995, p. 186-187.

Anne Karen de Boer e.a., De Ketting II & III. De multiculturele samenleving/Handen, Groningen (Stichting Aurora Borealis) 1995, p. 43.

Wim Melis (red.), Common Lives. Gewoon, leven [uitgave ter gelegenheid van de gelijknamige tentoonstelling van de fotomanifestatie Noorderlicht 1995, gepresenteerd van 7 oktober t/m 5 november 1995, in de Der Aa-kerk in Groningen], Groningen (Stichting Aurora Borealis) 1995, p. 82-84.

Michael Matthews. Performance foto’s van Koos Breukel, in Het Parool 9 mei 1995, extra katern i.k.v. Fotofestival Naarden, p. 1-5.

Jenny Smets en Sander Veeneman (eindred.), Vluchtelingenverdrag. Genève 1951, Amsterdam (Fotografenplatform) december 1995, p. 22.

Trouw 15 juni 1996.

Gaston Bekkers e.a., Ode aan het Vondelpark Amsterdam (D’Arts) 1997, p. 118, 123.

Guaranteed Real Dutch Photomagazine (uitgave van Basalt Publishers) (najaar 1997) 1.

Catalogus Fotofestival Naarden 1999, z.p. [Naarden] 1999, p. 33.

Het telefoonboek van Ben, Amsterdam (Ben) z.j. [ca. 1999].

Willem van Zoetendaal (concepten vormgeving), Deshima, Amsterdam (Van Zoetendaal Collections) 1999, ongepag.

Het Parool 12 mei 1999, PS, p. 2.

Catalogus tent. Een strikt emotionele aangelegenheid. Een keuze uit de collectie Bert Hartkamp, Antwerpen (Museum voor Fotografie) 2000.

Willem van Zoetendaal (samenstelling), Rik Gadella en Philip Freriks (tekst), Het oog van het Noorden, Parijs (Institut Néerlandais) 2000, p. 14-17.

Fries Museum Krant zomer 2000, p. 2. Volkskrant magazine 2 (2 september 2000) 53, omslag.

Martijn van de Griendt en Teun van der Heijden (samenstelling), Brood, Amsterdam (De Verbeelding) 2001, ongepag.

Anouk La Verge, Moved. Céline van Balen, Sara Blokland, Koos Breukel, Mark van den Brink, Marjoleine Boonstra, Nicolas Descottes, Leo Divendal, Julian Germain, Caitlin Hulscher, Marijn de Jong, Marjaana Kella, Paul Kooiker, Annaleen Louwes, Holger Niehaus, Arno Nollen, Gabor Ösz, Carla van de Puttelaar, Maarten van Schaik, Diana Scherer, Harold Strak, Jasper Wiedeman, Amsterdam (Van Zoetendaal Collections) z.j. [2003], ongepag.

Secondary bibliography

Catalogus Fotomanifestatie Noorderlicht 1991. Fotografie opdracht stadsverlangen. Galerie en podium-circuit, Groningen (Stichting Fotografie Noorderlicht) 1991, p. 70-73 (met foto’s).

Herman Hoeneveld, Koos Breukel, in P/F. Professionele Fotografie (1992) 8, p. 43-50 (met foto’s).

Eddie Marsman, Galerie foto. Koos Breukel, in NRC Handelsblad 18 november 1994.

Catalogus Fotofestival Naarden, Naarden (Focus) 1995, p. 87.

Jan Koekebakker (eindred.), Werk/work. De Randstad fotocollectie/The Randstad Collection of Photographs 1988-1995, Amsterdam (Randstad Holding) 1995, p. 93, 115.

Anoniem, Buitenprojecten. Koos Breukel, in Focus 82 (mei 1995) 5, p. 87.

Vera Illés, Foto’s op lokatie, in Elsevier 51 (3 juni 1995) 22, p. 108-109.

Josephine van Bennekom, Een fluitketel op het gas, een dampend bord eten op tafel, in Trouw 13 oktober 1995.

Catalogus tent. Fotodiffusione ’96 – Olanda. Mostra e incontri dedicati alla fotografia in Olanda, z.p. [Turijn] (Fondazione Italiana per la Fotografia) 1996.

Catalogus tent. Scanning. Toegepaste kunst en fotografie in Amsterdam 1996 [uitgave ter gelegenheid van de Gemeentelijke Kunstaankopen 1996], Amsterdam (Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam) 1996, ongepag.

Catalogus tent. Zeitgenössische Fotokunst aus den Niederlanden, Berlijn (Neuer Berliner Kunstverein) 1996.

Marijn van der Jagt, Maanlicht, in Toneel Theatraal 117 (1996) 7, omslag, p. 60-61.

Fabian Takx, Onbarmhartig maanlicht, in Credits. Reclame. Fotografie. Media. Design (1996) 3, p. 15.

Han Schoonhoven, Paul Kooiker en Koos Breukel. Hedendaagse fotografie in de Kunsthal, in Foto 51 (maart 1996) 3, p. 56-63 (met foto’s).

Anoniem, Realistische Wally Tax, in Algemeen Dagblad 20 maart 1996.

Eddie Marsman, Koos Breukel: Fotografie zonder gevoel is een leugen, in NRC Handelsblad 18 april 1996.

Anoniem, [n.a.v. boek en tentoonstelling Hyde bij Art Book in Amsterdam], in Het Parool 6 juni 1996.

Jhim Lamoree, Monument voor een lichamelijke ruïne, Het Parool 7 juni 1996.

Eddie Marsman, Hyde, in Foto 51 (september 1996) 9, p. 30-33 (met foto’s).

Jhim Lamoree, Beklagenswaardig en toch mooi, in Hel Parool 25 oktober 1996.

Jhim Lamoree, Van Absolutely Fabulous tot Nova, in Het Parool 29 oktober 1996.

Bernice Siewe, Koos Breukel. Portretten, stillevens en snapshots, in Foto 52 (december 1997) 12, p. 64-67 (met foto’s).

Martijn Daalder, Zelf/Portret, in Credits. Reclame. Fotografie. Media. Design (1998) 2, p. 28-35 (met foto’s).

Martijn Daalder, Bouwstenen voor een zelfportret, in Het Parool 5 januari 1998.

Thom Hoffman, Kermis in de hel, in Z. Amsterdams Magazine 4 (november 1998) 21, p. 25.

Pam Emmerik, Het leed dat zou komen. Tentoonstelling van foto’s en vriendschap, in NRC Handelsblad 11 december 1998, Cultureel Supplement, p. 25.

Floortje Bakker, Koos Breukel fotografeert ogenschijnlijke stilte, in Trouw 22 december 1998.

Paolo van de Velde, Geen Talent voor Luchtigheid. Koos Breukel in Serieuze Zaken, in De Telegraaf 31 december 1998.

Herman Bloedjes en Howard Krol, Wij stervelingen, 25 portretten, Diemen (AWL) 1999, p. 46-47.

Catalogus tent. Human conditions intimate portraits/Conditions humaines portraits intimes, Rotterdam (Nederlands Foto Instituut) 1999, p. 6-8, 86-95 (met foto’s).

Catalogus Le Mois de la Photo a Montréal 1999. Le souci du document/Concern for the document, Montréal (VOX) 1999.

Mirjam Bestebreurtje, Koos Breukel: Thoughtless Kind, in TubeLight 02. Onafhankelijk recensieblad voor beeldende kunst februari/maart 1999.

Pam Emmerik, Een Souvereine Tekkel, wat dieren ons te zeggen hebben, in NRC Handelsblad 14 mei 1999.

Maartje den Breejen, Fotocamera in de rol van minnaar, in Het Parool 17 mei 1999.

Lex Veldhoen, De broosheid van het lichaam, in VPRO Gids 27 november 1999.

Catalogus tent. StillMoving. Contemporary Photography, Film and Video from The Netherlands, Kyoto (The National Museum of Modern Art) 2000, p. 22, 116-123, 152-153 (met foto’s).

Frits Gierstberg (ed.), Positions Attitudes Actions. Engagement in de fotografie/ Social and political commitment in photography [uitgave t.g.v. de Foto Biënnale Rotterdam], Rotterdam (Nederlands Foto Instituut) 2000, p. 322-324, 382.

Rik Suermondt, De neus van Barbara Streisand. Het menselijk gezicht volgens plastisch chirurg professor Kon, in De Fotograaf (2000) 1, p. 20-23.

Han Schoonhoven, Een levende traditie in beeld. Koos Breukel’s portretten van skütsje-schippers, in Foto 55 (juni 2000) 6, p. 58-61 (met foto’s).

Eric van den Berg, Liever een lelijk eendje, in de Volkskrant 28 december 2000.

Anoniem, Koos Breukel. De schippers. [tekst gebaseerd op hoofdstuk 6 van het boek ‘SKS Skûtsjesilen’ van Wegener Sleeswijk, Eelke Lok en Gosse Blom], in Hollands Licht 6 (2000) 2, omslag, p. 14-21 (met foto’s).

Wim van Krimpen (voorw.), Friesland is …, Leeuwarden (Fries Museum) 2000, p. 14-15, 22-26, 63, 66 (met foto’s).

Veilingcatalogus Glerum Auctionairs Dutch Photography 1900-2000. Veilingnr. 202, 27 november 2000, Amsterdam (Glerum) 2000, lot 158-159.

Herman Hoeneveld, Eeuwigelaan 6. Chambre d’Amis voor de fotografie, in P/F. Vakblad voor fotografie en imaging (2001) 9, p. 70-71.

Arno Haijtema, Hommage aan het leven, in de Volkskrant 19 april 2001.

Jhim Lamoree, Fotograferen met de dood op schoot, in Het Parool 29 mei 2001.

Corine Vloet, Lelijkheid bestaat niet bij mij. Gesprek met fotograaf Koos Breukel, in NRC Handelsblad 29 juni 2001, Cultureel Supplement, p. 21.

Rody van der Pols, ‘Gestolde tijd’ van Koos Breukel, in Leidsch Dagblad 6 september 2001, bijlage [uitkrant] 6 september-12 september 2001.

Anoniem, Wintergasten aan de Eeuwigelaan, in Noord-Hollands Dagblad 10 december 2001.

Catalogus tent. Oog in Oog. Hedendaagse Nederlandse fotografie, Amsterdam (SBK/De Verbeelding) 2002, p. 38-39.

Wim van Sinderen (red.), Fotografen in Nederland. Een anthologie 1852-2002, Amsterdam/Gent/Den Haag (Ludion/ Fotomuseum Den Haag) 2002, p. 62-63.

Johan Van der Auweraert, Photo Studio Koos Breukel, in Streven 69 (januari 2002) 1, p. 88-89.

Veilingcatalogus Sotheby’s. Photographs from the Bert Hartkamp collection, 11 november 2002, Amsterdam (Sotheby’s) 2002.

Arnold Jansen, Portrettist van puur. Koos Breukel verstilt grote en kleine gevoelens, in Identity Matters (2003) 3, p. 42-46 (met foto’s).

Theo de With, ‘Ik heb het fotograferen weer ontdekt’, in Haagsche Courant 3 juni 2003, p. 2.

Theo de With, De smaak van Nederland in beeld. Foto’s in CBK Leiden tonen leefstijl en landgenoten, in Leidsch Dagblad 5 juni 2003, bijlage [uitkrant], 5 juni -11 juni 2003.

Anoniem, Personalities. Karakters uit eigen collectie, in Fries Museum Krant zomer/najaar 2003, p. 5.

Liesbeth Melis (samenstelling en red.), Gemengd bedrijf. De verandering van het agrarisch landschap, Rotterdam/Amsterdam (NAi Uitgevers/SKOR) 2004, p. 31, 59-71, 198 (met foto’s).

Maartje Somers, De verdwaalde natuurmens. Fotografen tonen hun ‘landschapsverdriet’, in NRC Handelsblad 27 februari 2004, Cultureel Supplement, p. 1.


Gkf 1994-1997.


1994 Aanmoedigingsprijs fotografie Amsterdamse kunstprijzen, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst (voor het boek The Wretched Skin).

1996 Best verzorgde boek 1996 (voor het boek Hyde).

1997 Speciale vermelding Dutch Design Awards (voor het boek Hyde).

2001 Best verzorgde boek 2001 (voor het boek Photo Studio Koos Breukel).


1986 (g) Amsterdam, Kunst Allerlei, [Jean Jacques Almanza, Koos Breukel, René de Haan, Eric Hamelink, Han Reeder, Channah Zwiep].

1991 (e) Groningen, Sign, Koos Breukel (fotomanifestatie Noorderlicht).

1993 (g) Rotterdam, Nederlands Architectuurinstituut, [architectuurserie over de eigen jeugd in opdracht van het NAi].

1993 (g) Rotterdam, WAF, Constructie.

1994 (e) Amsterdam, Amsterdams Centrum voor Fotografie, Portretten van Koos Breukel.

1994 (e) Amsterdam, Fotogalerie 2 ½ bij 4 ½, [25 portretten gemaakt met technische camera].

1994 (g) Amsterdam, Oude Kerk, [portretten gemaakt in Polen].

1994 (g) Rotterdam, Kunsthal, Rock around the camera – Veertig jaar popfotografie in Nederland.

1994 (g) Rotterdam, Nederlands Foto Instituut, [3 billboards van bekende Rotterdammers t.g.v. de opening van het NFI].

1994 (g) Rotterdam, Nederlands Foto Instituut, [5 billboards i.k.v. fotoproject Photo International.

1995 (e) Amersfoort, Elleboogkerk, The Wretched Skin.

1995 (g) Amsterdam, Gerrit Rietveld Academie, A sunset always sells.

1995 (g) Groningen, Der Aa-kerk, Common Lives . Gewoon, leven (fotomanifestatie Noorderlicht).

1995 (g) Groningen, USVA Noorderlicht Fotogalerie, De Ketting (II & III) (fotomanifestatie Noorderlicht).

1995 (e) Naarden, [buitenproject], Koos Breukel [installatie met portretten van Michael Matthews] (Fotofestival Naarden).

1995 (g) Rotterdam, Nederlands Foto Instituut, Lichtjaren, 50 jaar GKf-fotografie.

1996 (e) Amsterdam, Art Book, Hyde.

1996 (g) Amsterdam, Fotogalerie 2 ½ bij 4 ½, Zielsverwante reizigers.

1996 (g) Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Scanning. Toegepaste kunst en fotografie in Amsterdam 1996 [tentoonstelling t.g.v. de gemeentelijke kunstaankopen].

1996 (g) Berlijn, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (NBK), Zeitgenössische Fotokunst aus den Niederlanden [reizende tentoonstelling: 1996 Baden, Badischer Kunstverein; 1997 Halle, Hallescher Kunstverein].

1996 (e) Rotterdam, Kunsthal, Hedendaagse fotografie [2 solotentoonstellingen: één van Koos Breukel en één van Paul Kooiker].

1996 (g) Stuttgart, Volkshochshule, Lichtjaren. 50 Jaar GKf-fotografie.

1996 (g) Turijn, Fondazione Italiana per la Fotografia, Fotodiffusione ’96- Mostra e incontri dedicati allo, fotografia in Olanda.

1997/1998 (e) Amsterdam, Fotogalerie 2 ½ bij 4 ½, Not Dark Yet.

1998 (g) Amsterdam, Fotogalerie 2 ½ bij 4 ½, Thoughtless Kind/Dagdromer.

1998 (e) Amsterdam, Galerie Serieuze Zaken, Portraits and Places.

1998 (e) Amsterdam, SBK, [zwart-wit portretten].

1999 (g) Hoofddorp, VNU, The beauty and the beast.

1999 (g) Leeuwarden, Fries Museum, Face to Face.

1999 (g) Montreal, La Condition Humaine (Mois de la Photo).

1999 (g) Naarden, Bastion Oranje, ’99: negenennegentig jaar Nederlandse fotografie (Zesde Fotofestival Naarden).

1999 (g) Naarden, Gele Loods, The beauty and the beast (Zesde Fotofestival Naarden).

1999 (e) Utrecht, Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, [serie Willem].

2000 (g) Amsterdam, Fotogalerie 2 ½ bij 4 ½, Dierenleven.

2000 (g) Amsterdam, Fotogalerie 2 ½ bij 4 ½, Vier blonde fotografen.

2000 (g) Amsterdam, Van Zoetendaal [Galerie, Lijnbaansgracht 109], [Koos Breukel en Rentsje de Gruyter].

2000 (e) Amsterdam, Van Zoetendaal, Amsterdam, Faro, overlevenden van een vliegtuigramp.

2000 (g) Amsterdam, Van Zoetendaal, Kogelvrij.

2000 (g) Antwerpen, Museum voor Fotografie, Een strikt emotionele aangelegenheid. Een keuze uit de tweede collectie Bert Hartkamp.

2000 (g) Den Haag, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Pleidooi voor intuïtie.

2000 (g) Kyoto, The National Museum of Modern Art, StillMoving, Contemporary Photography, Film and Video from The Netherlands.

2000 (g) Leeuwarden, Fries Museum, Friesland is … Eigentijdse visies op Friesland.

2000 (g) Parijs, Institut Néerlandais, L’Oeil du Nord. Paris vu par des photographes néerlandais contemporains (Mois de la Photo).

2000 (g) Rotterdam, Nederlands Foto Instituut, Conditions humaines, portraits intimes.

2000/2001 (g) Madrid, Casa Isabel Segundo, Human Conditions/Intimate Portraits.

2001 (e) Alphen aan den Rijn, Centrum Beeldende Kunst, Portretten van Alphenaren.

2001 (g) Amersfoort, FotoForum, (manifestatie De schoonheid van het kwaad).

2001 (g) Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, [een selectie uit de fotografiecollectie].

2001 (e) Breda, Museum De Beyerd, Photo Studio Koos Breukel.

2001 (e) Den Haag, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Photo Studio Koos Breukel.

2001 (g) Madrid, Casa Isabel Segundo.

2001 (g) Nieuw Roden, Kunstpaviljoen Roden, Droomoord (fotomanifestatie Noorderlicht).

2001 (g) Porto, Centro Portugues de Fotografia, [tentoonstelling i.k.v. Porto Culturele Hoofdstad 2001].

2001/2002 (g) Bergen NH, [Eeuwigelaan 6], Chambre d’Amis.

2002 (g) Amsterdam, SBK Kunsthal de Remise, Oog in Oog, hedendaagse Nederlandse fotografie.

2002 (g) Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Maskers af!

2002 (g) Arles, Rencontres d’Arles [Nederlandse portretfotografie].

2002 (e) Bergen, Kunstenaarscentrum Bergen, [portretten].

2002 (g) Den Haag, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Fotokabinetten: collectie Willem van Zoetendaal.

2002/2003 (g) Den Haag, Fotomuseum Den Haag, Fotografen in Nederland 1852-2002.

2002/2003 (g) Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, [hoogtepunten uit de Caldic Collectie].

2003 (g) Amsterdam, Amsterdams Historisch Museum, Zwart wit kleur. 1000 Foto’s van Amsterdam 1945-nu.

2003 (g) Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Link – Gemeente aankopen 2002-2003.

2003 (g) Amsterdam, Van Zoetendaal, Moved.

2003 (g) Den Haag, Fotomuseum Den Haag, Mortalis.

2003 (g) Lausanne, Galerie 1’Elac.

2003 (g) Parijs, Colette, L’Insensé.

2003 (e) Rotterdam, Nederlands fotomuseum, Generation. Portretten van Koos Breukel.

2003 (g) Utrecht, Flatland Galerie, Coupons/(family) portraits [Koos Breukel en Emo Verkerk].

2003 (g) Veendam, (Julianapark 3), Choices – keuzes in smaak en leefstijl (fotomanifestatie Noorderlicht) [reizende tentoonstelling].

2003/2004 (g) Leeuwarden, Fries Museum, Personalities.

2004 (e) Bergen (Noorwegen), Kunstmuseum, Generation. Portraits by Koos Breukel.

2004 (g) Haarlem, De Hallen, Verworpenen en Zondagskinderen. Aanwinsten 2005.

2004 (e) Helsinki, [Generation. Portretten van Koos Breukel].

2004 (e) Pori, Pori Art Museum, Generation.

2004 (g) Rotterdam, Nederlands fotomuseum, Gemengd bedrijf. De verandering van het agrarisch landschap.

2004 (g) Schiedam, Artoteek Schiedam, Choices. Keuzes in smaak en leeftijd.

Television programs

2001 (28 maart) De Jong in uitvoering (VPRO).


Leiden, Studie en Documentatie Centrum voor Fotografie, Prentenkabinet Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden.

Leusden, Jan Wingender (collectie nederlands fotoboek).


Alphen aan den Rijn, Kunstuitleen SBK Rijnstreek Alphen aan den Rijn.

Amsterdam, SKB Amsterdam KNSM.

Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Den Haag, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.

Den Haag, Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken

Haarlem, Frans Hals Museum/De Hallen.

Haarlem, Provincie Noord-Holland.

Leeuwarden, Fries Museum.