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Bettina Von Zwehl

Born 1971, Munich, Germany

In 1994 von Zwehl came to London to study photography at the London College of Printing; she then in 1977 went on to take a master’s degree in Fine Art Photography at the Royal College of Art.

At the RCA she started making portraits using techniques and methods she had earlier encountered as a photographer’s assistant working in Rome where she was inspired by Renaissance profile portraits. In the apparent formality and impassivity of the profile form, von Zwehl perceives an intimacy which can powerfully reveal the sitter’s character and emotional state. This is something she explored during her appointment as Artist in Residence at the Victoria and Albert Museum during 2011 where traditional painted portrait miniatures, dating back to the sixteenth century, were to provide inspiration.

Her work has been widely exhibited; since 2000 she has had seventeen solo exhibitions at venues including galleries in London, Birmingham, Bath, New York, Chicago and Milan, as well as being represented in numerous group shows. Her work has been acquired by major public collections in the UK (Arts Council Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and the British Council Collection), America (in Miami, Charlotte North Carolina, New York, Washington and Louisville Kentucky) and Austria (Saltzburg).

Made up Lovesong, Part 10