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Bettina Rheims

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Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris

Birth year

Lives in

Works in


Representing galleries


Bettina Rheims is a French artist and photographer.After having been a model, a journalist, and opening an art gallery, she began to be a photographer in 1978 at the age of 26. Initially she did many commissioned works such as albums covers for Jean-Jacques Goldman and photos of various stars.

From 1980 she devoted herself solely to photography. She made a series of photographs of strip-tease artists and acrobats, which were shown 1981 in two personal exhibitions, at the Centre Pompidou and at the Galerie Texbraun in Paris. Encouraged by this success, she worked on a series of stuffed animal portraits, which were exhibited in Paris and New York.

Her series Chambre Close, which was realized between 1990 and 1992 in collaboration with Serge Bramly, had an immense success not only in Europe but all over the world. In the following years her fame began to become worldwide and she is renowned as a one of the most important photographers not only in Europe, but also in the United States, Japan, Korea, Australia and Moscow.

Portrait photo by Istvan Vass.

Bettina Rheims Biography

1952 Born: Paris, France

1970 Started out photographing striptease artists and acrobats, and did many commissionned works (albums covers, such as for Jean-Jacques Goldman; photos of various stars)

1991 - 1992 Photographed celebrities and addressed issues of voyeurism and confession, particularly in her project 'Chambre Close', a collaboration with Serge Bramly

1994 Awarded from the Grand Prix de la Photographie of the City of Paris

1995 Took the official portrait photograph of Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic

2002 Promoted by Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic, to the grade of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur for her whole career

Lives and works in Paris, France

Selected Exhibitions

2010 Rose, c’est Paris (avec Serge Bramly), Richelieu / Galerie de photographie, Paris, France
La collection s'expose - Polaroïd en péril !, Musée de l´Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
AU-DELA DU REEL, Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, France
Intimacy! Baden in der Kunst, Kunst Museum Ahlen, Ahlen, Germany

2009 Portrait de l’artiste en motocycliste - MAGASIN, Centre National d’art Contemporain de Grenoble, Grenoble, France
Dans l'oeil du critique - Bernard Lamarche-Vadel et les artistes, Musée d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris - MAM/ARC, Paris, France
Influence Pop, Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, France

2008 Can You Find Happiness?, Co-Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Traumfrauen. 50 Starfotografen zeigen ihre Vision von Schönheit, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Gallery Selections, Hamiltons Gallery, London, UK
REAL. Fotografien aus der Sammlung der DZ-BANK, Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany

2007 Heroines, Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, Germany (solo)
Animal, Deyrolle, Paris, France (solo)
Vogue en beauté, 1920-2007, BnF Site François-Mitterrand, Paris, France
Guangzhou Photo Biennial 2007 - Guangzhou Photo Biennial, Guangdong, China

2006 Héroïnes, Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, France
Retrospective, Kunsthal, Rotterdam, Netherlands ; Moscow House of Photography, Moscow, Russia ; Musée d'Art Contemporain, Lyon, France (solo)
Femmes, Maruani & Noirhomme Gallery, Knokke, Belgium
Twenty Five Years, Cook Fine Art, New York, NY
Colleziona - Forma, Centro Internazionale di Fotografia, Milan, Italy

2005 Retrospective, KunstHausWien, Wien, Germany; NRW Forum Kultur und Wirtschaft, Düsseldorf, Germany; Botanique Museum, Brussels, Belgium (solo)
YES YES YES YES, Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany

2004 Retrospective, Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland ; Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway (solo)

2003 Shanghai, Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, France (solo)
I.N.R.I., MEO Contemporary Art Collection, Budapest, Hungary(solo)
Corpus Christi - Christus-Darstellungen in der photographie, 1850-2001, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

2002 Chambre Close - L’intégrale, Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont, Paris, France (solo)
Archeology of Elegance, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
Muster Frau, Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany
Chambre Close, Cheim & Read Gallery, New York, NY (solo)

2001 HIMMELFAHRTEN - Mythos, Kult und Religion in der zeitgenössischen Kunst, Galerie Wolfgang Gmyrek, Dusseldorf, Germany

2000 'INRI', Thaddeus Ropac Gallery, Salzburg, Austria
X'mas, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, France
Faith: The Impact of Judeo Christian Religion on Art at the Millinium,The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT

1998 The Erotic Sublime, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Austria

1997 Anthologie, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac - Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria (solo)


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg, Austria
Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris, France
Daelim Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul, South Korea
Musée de l´Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
Recent Exhibits

Bettina Rheims participated in these exhibits:

Jan, 2016 Solo Exhibition
Maison Européenne de la Photographie
Nov, 2015 Art & Design
Katz Contemporary
Dec, 2014 Queensize – Female Artists from the Olbricht Collection
me Collectors Room Berlin
Nov, 2014 Charity Exhibition "Licht ins Dunkel"
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac - Salzburg Villa Kast
Jun, 2014 Supermodels – Then and Now
Feb, 2013 The fashion of Helmut Newton and Bettina Rheims
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Click here to see all exhibits for Bettina Rheims
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