Viviane Sassen was born in 1972 in Amsterdam, and lives there. She studied fashion design, followed by photography at the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU), and Ateliers Arnhem.
Her work has been the subject of major solo exhibitions, including In and Out Of Fashion, Huis Marseille, Amsterdam (2012); Umbra, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam (2014); Analemma: Fashion Photography 1992 -2012, The Photographers’ Gallery, London (2015); Pikin Slee, ICA, London (2015); Umbra, Fotografiska, Stockholm (2017); Lexicon, Foto Kunst Stadforum, Innsbruck, Austria (2017); Umbra, Deichtorhallen, Hambourg (2017); Umbra, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago (2017).
Sassen has also taken part in numerous group exhibitions, including New Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2011), No Fashion, Please! Photography between gender and lifestyle at Kunsthalle, Vienna (2011); at the Museum für Neue Kunst Freiburg, Germany (2016); at the Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle (2016); at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation (2017); at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2017); at CAFA Museum, Chine (2018); at McEvoy Foundation for the Arts, San Francisco (2020) and at Fotomuseum, Winterthur (2022).
Her work was featured in the main exhibition at the 55th Venice Biennale, The Encyclopedic Palace, in 2013.
Sassen was awarded the Dutch art prize, the Prix de Rome in 2007, and in 2011 won the International Center of Photography in New York’s Infinity Award for Applied/Fashion/Advertising Photography. In 2015, she was awarded the David Octavius Hill Medal from the German Photography Academy, and was also nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for her exhibition Umbra. She has also received numerous awards for her publications.