Last week to see the exhibition of new work by Hellen van Meene, continuing the artistʼs decades-long exploration into photographic portraiture. The exhibition includes several new portraits of adolescent girls, each one characterized by the artistʼs extraordinary use of light and elicitation of her subjectʼs psychological state. Notably, the selection also includes a series of formal portraits of dogs, a distinctly new direction within the artistʼs oeuvre. This is van Meeneʼs third solo exhibition at the great Yancey Richardson gallery.
The intimately scaled female portraits in the exhibition were all shot in Russia and in the artistʼs hometown of Heiloo, The Netherlands. Characteristic of van Meeneʼs style, the portraits reflect an introspective mood, unveiling a moment of acute psychological poignancy. In Untitled, St. Petersburg (above), van Meene has returned to a model she previously photographed, whom the artist met in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2007.
I’ve heard of some gossips about a teenager who didn’t want to be photographed and cried so much in front of the camera, therefore i’m not sure about the sensibility of the artist towards her subjects, and her deep reasons in the choice of the characters, but still that’s often the point of portraits, and the effort is worth it.
Selected by Ingrid Melano