From June 18 – July 16 Kopeikin Gallery exhibits ‘Sculptural Skin’ by Carla van de Puttelaar. Best known for her luminous nude studies characterized by their exquisite use of light and subtle color, van de Puttelaar’s pictures engage the sense of touch almost as much as the sense of sight. Human skin becomes its own landscape – a place where every freckle, crease, and mark is a noted event. This exhibition shows van de Puttelaar’s photographs, whether of women or flowers, and tread a fine line between the sensual and an almost medical dispassion. Shot against darkened backgrounds, and illuminated by the special quality of natural Dutch light, the works create a daring fusion of beauty and realism enabled by the artist’s careful control of composition.
Carla van de Puttelaar (b. 1967) is a graduate of the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. Her work has been exhibited in The Netherlands, Hungary, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Korea and the United States. The photography of Carla van de Puttelaar allows the eye to touch the skin on many levels. Through her lens, she makes the viewer aware of the sensitivity and the sensuality of skin, which she examines in detail, without ever forgetting to be aware of the importance of the shapes of the structure that the skin envelopes. The female body has long been her main subject, but in recent years she has also successfully begun to examine the skin and texture of flowers, particularly those on the brink of fading. In them she has discovered the same fascinating sensitivity and sensuality as in her female models. Natural light is one of Carla’s most important tools and assets. She allows it to play around with her subjects and then catches it at its most seductive moment and from that moment on, it is captured for posterity.
Carla van de Puttelaar has always had a keen interest in portraiture. Her portrait photographs are less well-known than much of her other work, but have always formed an intrinsic and essential part of it. They originate as free work, or as the result of a commission, such as a series done in 2015 for The New Yorker. Like all her photos, her portraits are shot in natural, northern light. In them, her love of old master portraits is clearly recognizable. Carla aims to catch an intense image of the sitter, in which the eye is an important focus. She is keen on recording a specific, momentary expression, be it emotional or powerful, but always individual.
Kopeikin Gallery has been operating in Los Angeles since 1991. It is an accessible place where information and conversation flow freely. People stop by to see the current exhibition and what’s new in the back room. We talk about the latest photographic monographs, since books are such an important part of the photo world, and we look beyond photography to a shared interest in all art; of which photography is an increasing important part.
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