Maryam Eisler: If Only Walls Could Talk

Maryam Eisler - Autant-En Emporte Le Vent
Maryam Eisler - Autant-En Emporte Le Vent

Maryam Eisler: If Only Walls Could Talk
2-24 November 2022
Alon Zakaim Fine Art
27 Cork St

Alon Zakaim Fine Art, 27 Cork Street, is proud to present a solo exhibition ‘If Only These Walls Could Talk’ – a new body of work from London-based Persian artist Maryam Eisler, shot at the fabled Hôtel Nord-Pinus in Arles (2-24 November 2022).

Photographed at the legendary hostelry amid the ghostly presence of Picasso, Cocteau, Callas, Chaplin, Hemingway, and Van Gogh, Eisler’s work explores the masculine and feminine tensions that the city has seen and lived over centuries.

Maryam Eisler-If Only Walls Could Talk
Maryam Eisler

Oh, but for the joys of meandering through corridors and spaces once trodden by the greats of art, culture, music, entertainment and literature. If only the walls in these unpretentious spaces could talk!

What would they say of the Nord-Pinus?Maryam Eisler

If Only Walls Could Talk

During her stay at the hotel in 2021 between lockdowns, Eisler was drawn in particular to Suite 10 – the location of Helmut Newton’s iconic 1973 Vogue shoot with Charlotte Rampling. Not in replication or imitation, but rather to explore and to expand on the subject of ‘La Femme’ in the Now. Eisler continues in her new series to pursue definitions of the various facets of the ‘Sublime Feminine’ – a consistent exploration of the artist into sensuality and the female gaze.

Maryam Eisler - Autant-En Emporte Le Vent
Maryam Eisler – Autant En Emporte Le Vent

We see mythical beauty captured through the prism of historical richness of Le Nord-Pinus in a magical dance between light and shade. At once, the female form is both echoed in the curling ironwork, and contrasted against geometric floor tiles and vertical frames. Sensual yet strong, seductive yet unattainable, these women project an idea of an uncompromising femininity and a vibrant beauty.

Suite 10 at the Hôtel Nord-Pinus was also the place where celebrated bullfighters, such as Luis Miguel Dominguín, greeted their adoring crowds from the balcony railings, and this series also pays reverence to a sport that has captivated generations of artists, poets, and writers, including Picasso, whose lifelong passion for bulls is well-documented in his work.

Maryam Eisler-La-Lionne
Maryam Eisler-La-Lionne

Of all the works in the series ‘If Only These Walls Could Talk’, three are set in the arena; as the dominant colour, red is symbolic on many levels, as an evocation of passion and danger. The matador stands strong as a masculine force; however, in place of the bull, Eisler’s female muses have returned, defiantly spirited, beautiful, and completely unapologetic about their passion, sensuality, and strength. The accompanying publication ‘If Only These Walls Could Talk,’, which includes a foreword by Brandei Estes, Sotheby’s Director, Head of Photographs, EMEA, will be available to coincide with the exhibition.

©2022 Maryam Eisler