Los Angeles

Hellen van Meene

Marc Foxx Gallery

The modestly scaled, square color images included in Dutch artist Hellen van Meene’s first solo US exhibition depict seemingly vulnerable pubescent girls in poses and stages of undress that hint at sexual awakening. Because the photos address a time in life when the most common of experiences can be the most deeply personal and revealing, the viewer feels like an intruder—yet not an entirely unwelcome one.

In Untitled, 1998, a girl in her underwear awkwardly cranes to press her cheek against a smooth railing; in Untitled, 1999, another girl presses her cheek against what looks like a clothesline, carving a groove into the soft curvature of her skin. Both scenes afford the viewer insight into a self-knowledge being gained by the young women in the pictures; these are moments when they are becoming aware of their capacity for bodily sensation. Or perhaps, knowing that they are being

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the May 2001 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.