Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Anastasia, 1994 © Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin.

Crossing and
Recrossing a Fine
Line between
Fashion and Art

Inez van Lamsweerde end Vinoodh Matadin launched their international career with the publication of ten pages in the British magazine The Face in 1994. It was here that for the first time in a fashion series the models and the backgrounds were photographed separately and subsequently combined into a single image by use of a computer. The series typified van Lamsweerde and Matadin’s hyper-realistic style and was made to celebrate and subvert fashion within the context of a magazine.

Inez and Vinoodh began their work together in 1986 in Amsterdam. Now, 25 years later, with campaigns for fashion houses such as YSL, Chanel, Balmain, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Cloé, and with regular publications in W Magazine, Vogue and The New York Times, they are among the most important photographers in the world today and among the few artists who have crossed the line between fashion and art and managed to maintain careers in both fields. They have lived and worked in new York since 1995.

Foam is showing over 300 photographs. Art, fashion and portrait works all exist next to each other. By disregarding any chronological order the combinations of images are based on personal, formal, social, political and intuitive associations.

Inez van Lamsweerde (Amsterdam, 1963) and Vinoodh Matadin (Amsterdam, 1961) began their work together in 1986 when Matadin presented his first collection of work for the Lawina fashion label and was in need of press and invitation photographs. In New York, where the duo lived for a year (1992-1993) as artists in residence at PS1, the idea arose to combine their efforts and to concentrate entirely on photography.

From the perspective that fashion is a direct reflection of our times, the photographers approached their early fashion stories from a sociological and psychological angle as opposed to a purely aesthetic one. These works functioned as mirrors to reflect established ideas on beauty, social status and media concepts. At the same time, the use of the computer perverted the idea of truth being presented in a photograph. This literally made the pictures timeless since there had been an intervention in the decisive moment of the shot.

The duo's main motivation for their work is exploration of notions of identity and desire, showing a fascination with self-recreation and the rhetoric of appearance.

The work simultaneously shows the up and down of this interest since the dilemma, the dualistic, is the most vital part. Dubiousness is at the base of practically every image they make. The work is ambiguous in every sense of the word and balances deliberately on the thin rope between fashion and art, perverting both worlds, mirroring the strangeness of everyday life through an extreme enlargement of a singular part. The context in which an art or fashion work appears is vital for its understanding. In both fields their images express an implied pitiless reality where it is hinted that adults live their own eroticism as a cliché. The images show a subtle break, something that is irritating and displeasing, yet always with a touch of suppressed laughter — the kind that sticks in your throat.

Photography’s notions of reality, time and space are perverted by the careful use of computer manipulation which alludes to the potential malleability of the human (especially the female) body by fashion tastes and simultaneously questions notions of post-feminism, serving as a dialogue about popular culture, politics and spirituality.

This timelessness of a digitally altered image is essential to the work as it denies the limits of the surface. By letting nothing stand in their way of showing beauty at its most devastating, Inez and Vinoodh are turning the face into a fetish object and are thusly satisfying the longing for possession. In the fashion image, where happiness is obtained through glamour, the language of clothes is used to examine our ideas on identity and desire. Here imperfect beauty, the spot where there is a scratch in the varnish, appears to open the door to the emotional experience of fashion based imagery. The work twirls between the pastiche of traditional patterns of depiction (in fashion and in art) and the serious analysis of big human problems and questions of our time.

Since each photograph demands its own dimensions, and some have been shown over the years and have their own existing size and frame style, the exhibition will have a dynamic flow and will read like a huge stream of images – forming one flowing, pulsating sentence rather than divisions that are grouped by size or subject. This showing will draw the viewer into Inez and Vinoodh’s world of constant dualism, duality and ambiguity, as well as their obsession with giving meaning to the surface, while oscillating between horror and beauty, the grotesque and the quiet, and the spiritual and the banal.

The exhibition contains the photographers’ most important works and collaborations with other artists like M/M Paris, sculptor Eugène van Lamsweerde and Theatergroep Mug Met De Gouden Tand. Since each photograph demands its own dimensions, and some have been shown over the years and have their own existing size and frame style, the exhibition has a dynamic flow and reads like a stream of images

Inez van Lamsweerde >

Alexander Rodchenko, Stairs,1930.

A New Visual Language for a Mass Audience
Revolution in Photography reveals Alexander Rodchenko's talent for experimentation as well as the range of his work. From sharp-witted photomontage to documentary reportage in Moscow’s streets, from dynamic architectural studies to intimate portraits of his circle,

Alexander Rodchenko >>

Enrico Castellani, Dittico rosso, 1966, Acrylic on canvas, 163 x 121 x 187 cm and 183 x 250 cm,

Enrico Castellani's Formalist Poems in Silver and White
Renowned curator and art historian Adachiara Zevi, in collaboration with the Enrico Castellani Archive in Milan, is curating Enrico Castellani's exhibition at Haunch of Venison New York. Featured works will include numerous recently completed paintings in white or metallic silver, in the artist's signature style.

Enrico Castellani >>

Mylou Oord, Paris Fashion Week, 2009 © Mylou Oord.

Mylou Oord's Grasp of the Fashion Zeitgeist
Mylou Oord’s photography is characterized by a distinct style which well expresses the Zeitgeist of her generation. All her subjects come from the creative world, and the way she captures them clearly evidences a close relationship between her and the subject.

Mylou Oord >>

Ranbir Kaleka, Reading Man, 2009, Acrylic and oil on canvas,

A Return to Gestalt Painting of Subconscious Voices
Ranbir Kaleka Reading Man marks Kaleka's much-anticipated return to gestalt painting. The artist has continued a vocabulary of figurative painting which crosses from realism into whimsical, fantastical narrative.

Ranbir Kaleka >>

Christina Dostaler and Matt Jacobs, Tether, 2010, Installation view.

Responses to a Fishbowl of Human Interaction
Tether pairs young artists Christina Dostaler and Matt Jacobs. They respond to the architectural singularity of the gallery, addressing human interactions with familiar objects. This menagerie of the everyday is represented in bold, sugary colors.

Tether >>

The Big Drama
Implicit in Angela
Bullock's
Understatement

There is more than meets the eye to Angela Bulloch’s work. Her solo exhibition SHORT BIG DRAMA at Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art plays with this red herring — the illusion of simplicity — and highlights the theatricality of Bulloch’s practice. Focusing on three types of works — namely her monumental wall paintings, colorful pixel installations and interactive drawing machines — SHORT BIG DRAMA presents a selection of existing works together with specially commissioned new pieces.

In this exhibition, contradiction takes center-stage and reveals the inherent beauty of Bulloch’s complex artworks. Playing with the nature of drama, whether epic or mundane, big or short, the project adapts the form of a play to structure a sequence of commissions and a new suite of works by the artist. For Witte de With, Bulloch interprets and manipulates earlier potentially clashing installations into a seemingly harmonious whole.

Bulloch adopts an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating references from a wide array of sources, be it history, film or music. In her wall paintings, specific references to artistic, political or social groups are deconstructed and graphically assembled. Through this process of détournement, the artist questions the informational status of an artwork, as well as the possibility of narrating history. Bulloch’s drawing machines are interactive pieces, triggered or altered by the engagement of visitors. In this way, her drawing machines explore the dialectic between technology and labor, making us conscious of our place, and that of others, within the gallery space. With her Pixel works, Bulloch ‘programs’ our experience of art by encoding specific references in the technical programming of her modular light and sound installations. Though the complexity of the workings behind these installations is invisible, a predefined experience of the work is imposed upon the viewer, thus challenging the viewer’s subjective input.

A common thread in Bulloch’s artistic practice is thus the manipulation of codes and a sense of control. Whether that code is music or text-based, the artist plays with and orchestrates our perception and experience of art. She proposes that this experience can be ‘subliminally programmed’ and her work stages that which is beyond our grasp.

The exhibition is curated by Amira Gad and Nicolaus Schafhausen.

Angela Bulloch (b. 1966, Canada) is a Berlin-based sculptor, installation and sound artist. She is recognized as one of the Young British Artists and was included in the 1988 Freeze Exhibition. Bulloch was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1997. Recent solo exhibitions include Information, Manifesto, Rules and Other Leaks..., Berlinische Galerie, Berlin (2011); Discrete Manifold Whatsoever, Simon Lee Gallery, London; •Redux•, Esther Schipper, Berlin (both 2010); and The space that time forgot, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus & Kunstbau, Munich (2008). Recent group exhibitions include Art Parcours, Art Basel 41, Münster Cathedral, Basel; A Roll Of The Dice, Cristina Guerra, Lisbon; Drawing Time, Galeries Poirels, Frac Lorraine, Metz; High ideals and crazy dreams, Galerie Vera Munro, Hamburg; and Open light in private spaces, Biennale for international Light Art, Unna (all 2010); Universal Code, The Power Plant, Toronto; and Yellow and Green, MMK Frankfurt, Frankfurt (both 2009).

Angela Bulloch >

Angela Bulloch, Cosa Nostra, 2011, Wall painting, dimensions variable, Photo: © Carsten Eisfeld, Installation view at Information, Manifesto, Rules And Other Leaks..., Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, April 29 - August 29, 2011; (solo exhibition). Courtesy the artist & Esther Schipper.