Ellen Von Unwerth
Michael Hoppen Gallery, 14 Oct - 15 Nov 2009
3 Jubilee Place,
London SW3 3TD
Ellen von Unwerth worked as a fashion model for ten years before moving behind the camera. Quoted as saying" (Women) are not just there to be admired, they are there to be enjoyed," her erotically charged images of models, film and music stars are as well known as the subjects of the photographs themselves. The Michael Hoppen Gallery is delighted to announce ‘Fräulein’; a show of personal favourites and never previously seen images from the last 15 years.
The exhibition at Michael Hoppen will take place in collaboration with TASCHEN who will be publishing a major monograph of Ellen von Unwerth’s work, also entitled Fräulein. The text is written by Ingrid Sischy, the former editor in chief of Interview magazine and currently fashion critic at the New Yorker and a contributing editor for Vanity Fair.
The exhibition and monograph celebrate female icons in provocative poses: Claudia Schiffer, Penelope Cruz, Natalie Portman, Kate Moss, Vanessa Paradis, Britney Spears, Eva Mendes, Lindsay Lohan, Dita von Teese, AdrianaLima, Carla Bruni, Eva Green among many others.
Known for her casual, playful attitude on shoots, her lack of pretense is the key to why her photographs resonate – they feel warm, human and fun. Von Unwerth's photography revels in sexual intrigue, femininity, fetishism and sheer joie de vivre. Her subjects are never objectified, even though some may flaunt personal fantasies and others are guarded and secretive, suggesting that we have stumbled into a secret world. Fashion and fantasy are enthrallingly combined in a way no male photographer could dare.
A supermodel before the phrase was truly coined, Ellen von Unwerth is responsible for several books of photography, as well as directing fashion short films and music videos. Top journals such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Arena, L’uomo Vogue and ID have been addicted to her inimitable fashion photography since she first picked up a camera.