Bettina von Zwehl (born 1971) is a German artist who lives and works in London, having received a BA in Photography from the London College of Printing and an MA in Fine Art Photography from the Royal College of Art.
Led by research and analysis, von Zwehl’s photographic work explores representations of the human condition and human concerns. Informed by the world of psychoanalysis - with a particular interest in childhood and adolescence - the artist has developed a conceptual style of portraiture, underpinned by a distinctive use of the proﬁle view and silhouette.
Her artistic practice focuses on photography, installation and archival exploration, which has evolved through a number of artist-residencies in museums including the Victoria and Albert Museum (2011), the Freud Museum (2015), the New-York Historical Society Museum (2018), The Queens House, Greenwich (2018) and at BTV Stadtforum Innsbruck in liaison with Castle Ambras, Austria (2019/20). Currently she is completing a year-long artist residency at the Ashmolean, The University of Oxford’s Museum of Art and Archaeology, which will lead to a major solo exhibition and publication at the museum in 2024.
Von Zwehl has been a four-time recipient for project grants from Arts Council England. In 2018 she was awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant to become the first Artist-in-Residence at the New-York Historical Society Museum and Library. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at The Photographers Gallery, London (2005), The National Portrait Gallery (2012), The Holburne Museum, Bath (2013), The Freud Museum, London and Vienna (2015/16), The New-York Historical Society Museum (2018) and BTV Stadtforum Insbruck, Austria (2020).
She has participated in numerous group exhibitions including The National Gallery, London, (2012), Bluecoat Gallery Liverpool (2013), The Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2015), San Diego Museum of Photographic Art, USA (2016); The National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington DC (2017). Her work is represented in museum collections worldwide including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina; LACMA, Los Angeles; Victoria and Albert Museum, Arts Council Collection, London; National Portrait Gallery, London; Rubell Family Collection, Miami, Florida; and Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco.
Photograph by Hannah Starkey