Working in the medium of portraiture, Carla van de Puttelaar reinterprets historic iconography and costume to create personable, evocative and feminist works.
‘Artfully Dressed: Women in the Art World’ opens tomorrow 16 May at the Weiss Gallery and runs until 31 May.
A Portrait Exhibition of Stylish, Influential Women in the Art World
As The Weiss Gallery specialises in Tudor, Stuart and Northern European portraiture, Carla van de Puttelaar’s exhibition is an exciting modern take on a familiar subject to the gallery.
Carla van de Puttelaar’s striking photographs, inspired by historical portraits, offer an insight into the women running the international art world, from artists and gallery directors, to curators, designers and art historians. Carla describes the works as ‘idealistic’: The portraits are an attempt at ‘aesthetic perfection’ through the lens of traditional iconography, yet they subvert that very trope. The theme is a challenging feminist statement at a time when gender equality in the workplace and the art world is in the news. Carla questions what constitutes female beauty, power and by extension, vulnerability.
Carla’s photographic work has exhibited around the world. Her work has also been featured in The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker. Carla has always had a keen interest in portraiture, and she photographs her sitters in natural light with dark, Caravaggesque backgrounds. There is an intensity to her portraits- she describes her work as recording a specific, momentary expression, be it emotional or powerful, but always individual.
Among the sitters, who Carla describes as ‘powerful, beautiful and so bright’ are Maria Balshaw CBE, Director of the Tate Art Museums and Galleries; Fashion historian Amber Butchart; Emilie Gordenker, Director of the Mauritshuis; Lidewij de Koekkoek, Director of the Rembrandt House Museum; Catharine MacLeod, Curator of 17th Century Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery; Hanna Klarenbeek, Curator at the Paleis Het Loo; Aileen Ribeiro, Fashion Historian and Costume Expert; Jennifer Scott, Director of the Dulwich Picture Gallery; Diana Scarisbrick, pre-eminent Jewellery Historian; Burcu Yuksel, Art Consultant and Dealer; Miho Kajioka, Photographer; Fariba Farshad, Director of Photo London and Roxana Halls, Artist, among others. They are dressed in haute couture, by famous designers such as Iris van Herpen, Jan Taminiau and Claes Iversen, vintage and period costume, or wrapped in sumptuous historic fabrics by Watts of Westminster.
When & Where: 16-31 May, The Weiss Gallery 59 Jermyn St, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6LX