French gallerist Almine Rech-Picasso opened her first space in Asia on Shanghai's historic Bund in July this year, bringing her eponymous gallery's total locations to five. The Shanghai gallery occupies roughly 4,000 square feet on the second floor of the three-storey Amber Building, a beautiful warehouse space, originally occupied by the Central...
There's an inside joke amongst the team of Ashkal Alwan, The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts: that every time an edition of its biennial forum on cultural practices is planned, a national crisis happens. The eighth edition of Home Works was no different: it opened on 17 October amidst the most devastating wildfires that Lebanon had witnessed...
Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...
In the 1970s and '80s, Irina Ionesco developed a keen and intense eye for women and their seductive allure. The impact of her nude photographs, with their enigmatic and timeless aura,reached well beyond the gaze of male viewers. Indeed, artists like Irina Ionesco helped to establish a new type of woman: a sensual and ambivalent embodiment of the unconventionality and permissiveness of the times.
Ionesco's erotic productions evade simple categorisation as only portraits, fashion, or nudes. Instead they are a composite, in which the photographer explores the dualism of revealing and concealing, and plays subtly with the lewd and the louche. Ionesco outfitted her female models in lingerie and fur stoles, veiled them in tulle and netting, adorned them with opulent jewels and flowers, and posed their semi-nude bodies in nocturnal, neo-surrealist settings, often in front of mirrors.
The models donned costume after costume before Ionesco's camera, against the ever-changing backdrop of her small stage. Unconventional props, half-object, half-decoration, and theatrical make-up underpinned her subject's personality, indeed, role. Pictured mostly alone, they play the role of femme fatale among others, staged by the photographer, their director.
Ionesco's complex, often dark arrangements function like a theatre play in several acts, or a movie, captured frame by frame. Yet the decisive element in her refined black-and-white images remains the partial nudity and immediate sensuality of the female models.
In collaboration with Zoo Magazine Reflex Amsterdam organised the retrospective exhibition Ma Réalité Rêvée in 2016, and published an extensive catalogue of Ionesco's work with an essayby Matthias Harder (Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin). Reflex Amsterdam exclusively represents the work of Irina Ionesco worldwide.
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