Ania Bien (born 1946) is an American photographer. Born in Kraków, Poland, to Polish-Jewish parents, she moved to the United States in 1958, where she studied painting and cultural anthropology. Since 1973 she has lived in Amsterdam.
One of Ania’s early projects, Hotel Polen, referred to the Hotel Polen fire (which became “part of Bien’s wider theme of destruction”) in Amsterdam, 1977, and established her reputation in Dutch art circles. The collection of photographs illustrated a hotel before World War II, showcasing the relative luxury of middle-class travel in Europe, but objects in the photographs associated with the Holocaust indicate that this was a “doomed” way of life. She fabricated 18 replicas of the hotel’s menu stands, and used them to display the photographs. David Levi-Strauss wrote that Bien’s art piece is a “polysemous work of absence, in which what happens between images is the most important.” The work was displayed at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1987 and at the Amsterdams Historisch Museum in 1988.