From 16 to 31 May 2018, The Weiss Gallery will hold one of its most unique exhibitions to date: 'Artfully Dressed: Women in the Art World'. These portraits by Dutch photographer and art historian, Carla van de Puttelaar, portray some of the most influential women in the art world today, as well as those just starting out.
Gallery owner Mark Weiss sees Carla's unique reinterpretation of historic portraiture and costume as an important iconographic re-working of his most beloved art-form: portraiture. "I have always been interested in photography, and this project, combining as it does my passion for the human face and form, showcases Carla's genius in dramatically capturing the personality of her sitters in a uniquely evocative way".
From artists and gallery directors, to curators, designers and art historians, 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.
Van de Puttelaar has exhibited in numerous museums and galleries around the world. She has always had a keen interest in portraiture, and is fascinated by the effect of light. Carla photographs her sitters in natural light, with dark, Caravaggesque backgrounds, and there is a resultant 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 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; Fariba Farshad, Director of Photo London; Zoe Whitley, Curator of Contemporary Art at Tate Modern, and Curator of the British Pavilion, Venice Biennale for 2019; and Roxana Halls, artist, among others. They are dressed in haute couture, by famous designers including Iris van Herpen, Jan Taminiau and Claes Iversen, or vintage and period costume, and wrapped in sumptuous historic fabrics by Watts of Westminster.