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Carla van de Puttelaar and her soft, fragile models


For this exhibition at Box Galerie in Ixelles, Belgium, corresponding to the publication of her new monograph, Dutch photographer Carla van de Puttelaar remains true to herself and the unique universe in which she has built her work for what will soon be two decades.

Always inspired by old paintings, she has newly enriched her palette this time by paying tribute to Rembrandt, at the invitation of the Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam. As it was once the case for Vermeer, Cranach, and some others, photography avoids the trap of direct tribute, of sterile reinterpretation, and, rather, offers something “in the style of,” only taking the essence of the canvases to which she is referring. Fueled by the masterpieces of these painters of the past and, in particular, by their use of light, she appropriates them in order to integrate them into her own work and to integrate her preoccupations about women and the contemporary artist.

Carla van de Puttelaar has an almost exclusive predilection (apart from a few notable exceptions) for models with fair skin, edging on diaphanous. She likes the impression of transparency which lets one glimpse into life through an infinitely thin envelope. As she has liked to do for some time already, the photographer associates her nudes and portraits of young women with other portraits, of flowers and hands this time. The individual roses and tulips alternate between strange and familiar touched with delicacy. Their vulnerability brings us right back to these beings of flesh and blood being shown at their sides. Her models can be described in the same manner, both magnificent and fragile, and, ultimately, we do not really know whether they belong to the world of day or night.


Carla van de Puttelaar, Adornments
From March 23 through May 12, 2018
Box Galerie
Chaussée de Vleurgat 102
1050 Ixelles

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