Bettina von Zwehl: Portraits November 3 — December 30, 2017

The history of miniature paintings can be dated as far back as the 16th century when wealthy Europeans commissioned their likeness for their loved ones or as a means of marital introductions. Originally made in gouache, watercolor or enamel, miniatures found a more utilitarian use with the invention of the daguerreotype and then ultimately the tintype. In today’s digital age of photography, with more and more artists printing billboard sized prints, Bettina von Zwehl is among a growing number of practitioners looking to the past to create powerful, intimate portraits, in a 7 x 5” or smaller format.

 

Portraits features several bodies of work which all address the formal portrait, presented in oval, round or arched frames. Von Zwehl taps into historical iconography, staging scenarios reminiscent of allegorical paintings. In Tallulah and Jasmine, a young girl stares at the camera holding a dead fish; in Sari (Lampropeltis Triangulum Nelsoni), an adolescent girl confronts the viewer with a milk snake wrapped around her neck; in her series Made Up Love Song, we see a woman in profile, photographed in the same position over the course of six months; The Sessions presents silhouetted portraits of a young girl printed on photographic paper which is then torn, suggesting the fragility of youth; and in her latest series Dog Portraits, pugs, terriers, and all breeds of dogs are elevated to a regal status normally affiliated with royalty. Whether photographing young girls, women, or canines, von Zwehl honors the past, creating an intimacy often lacking in art making today.

 

Bettina von Zwehl was born in Munich, Germany (1971) and currently lives in London. She received her MA from the Royal College of Art (London) in 1999. Her ongoing pre-occupation with the miniature was inspired by her six month Artist in Residence at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2011. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at a number of leading European and American museums and galleries including the Sigmund Freud Museum (Vienna, 2016) Freud Museum (London, 2016), Fotogaleriet (Oslo, 2014), National Portrait Gallery (London, 2014), Centrum Kultury Zamek (Poznan, 2011), Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood (London, 2009) and The Photographers Gallery (London, 2005). Her photographs are held in various collections including The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY), Mint Museum (Charlotte, NC), Victoria and Albert Museum (London, England), The National Portrait Gallery (London, England), The Rubell Family Collection (Miami, FL) and Pier 24 Photography (San Francisco, CA).

Bettina von Zwehl was born in Munich in 1971 and received an MA from the Royal College of Art (RCA), London, in 1999. She has built her international reputation on subtle and distinctive photographic portraits.

 

As her practice has developed, she has continued to seek out different ways of exploring the form; from her early works, most often defined by the exacting conditions she imposed on her subjects, to her most recent projects which reprise the tradition of the painted portrait miniature of both, people and dogs.

 

Her ongoing pre-occupation with the miniature was inspired during her six months as Artist in Residence at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2011.

 

Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at a number of leading European and American museums and galleries including the Sigmund Freud Museum (Vienna, 2016) Freud Museum (London, 2016), Fotogaleriet (Oslo, 2014) National Portrait Gallery (London, 2014), Centrum Kultury Zamek (Poznan, 2011), Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood (London, 2009), The Photographers’ Gallery (London 2005) and Lombard Freid gallery (New York, 2004).

 

Her photographs are held in the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina; Victoria and Albert Museum, Arts Council Collection, London; The National Portrait Gallery, London; the Rubell Family Collection, Miami, Florida; and Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco.

 

Bettina von Zwehl lives and works in London.

The Dog Portraits images are available as 3⅛ x 3⅛" (circle) and 5¼ x 3¾" (oval) pigment prints made in an edition of 7 + 1 AP. Pieces range in price from $2700 to $3200 framed, depending on size. 

 

The Bloodlines images are available as 11¾ x 9⅜" pigment prints made in an edition of 7 + 1 AP. Pieces are $4000 framed. 

 

The Made Up Love Song images are available as 2¼ x 2¼" pigment prints made in an edition of 5 + 1 AP. Pieces are $2700 framed. 

 

The Selected Portrait Miniatures images are available as 2⅜ x 2⅜" pigment prints made in an edition of 10 + 1 AP. Pieces are $2700 framed. 

 

The Sessions images are available as 10¼ x 8¼" pigment prints made in an edition of 20 + 1 AP. Pieces are $1100. 

Please call: (312) 266-2350 for prices of specific pieces.
Prices are print only unless otherwise indicated.

Bettina von Zwehl
Install Image 1, 2017

Bettina von Zwehl
Install Image 2, 2017

Video Link
Bettina von Zwehl
Install Image 3, 2017

Bettina von Zwehl
Made Up Love Song Part 1, 2011
Bettina von Zwehl
Made Up Love Song Part 15, 2011
Bettina von Zwehl
Made Up Love Song Part 22, 2011
Bettina von Zwehl
Made Up Love Song Part 34, 2011
Bettina von Zwehl
Made Up Love Song Part 7, 2011
Bettina von Zwehl
Mickal II, 2015
Bettina von Zwehl
Mickal III, 2015
Bettina von Zwehl
Rosa (Python Regius), 2016
Bettina von Zwehl
Ruby (Lampropeltis Getula Splendida), 2016
Bettina von Zwehl
Sari (Lampropeltis Triangulum Nelsoni), 2016
Bettina von Zwehl
Scherzo di follia III, 2015
Bettina von Zwehl
Tallulah and Jasmine, 2015
Bettina von Zwehl
The Sessions 11, 2016
Bettina von Zwehl
The Sessions 14, 2016
Bettina von Zwehl
The Sessions 16, 2016
Bettina von Zwehl
The Sessions 17, 2016
Bettina von Zwehl
The Sessions 26, 2016
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The Sessions 37, 2016
Bettina von Zwehl
The Sessions 40, 2016
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The Sessions 43, 2016
Bettina von Zwehl
The Sessions 45, 2016
Bettina von Zwehl
The Sessions 50, 2016
Bettina von Zwehl
The Sessions 6, 2016
Bettina von Zwehl
The Sessions 9, 2016
Bettina von Zwehl
Zero I, 2017
Bettina von Zwehl
Billy, 2016
Bettina von Zwehl
Buddy, 2017
Bettina von Zwehl
Charlottetown Dylan Thomas of Pepyswood, 2016
Bettina von Zwehl
Hercules, 2017
Bettina von Zwehl
Jax, 2017
Bettina von Zwehl
Jenson 1, 2017
Bettina von Zwehl
Jenson 2, 2017
Bettina von Zwehl
Jenson 3, 2017
Bettina von Zwehl
Leogem Renaissance, (Puppy of the year 2016), 2016
Bettina von Zwehl
Maggie, 2016