Research and analysis are at the heart of Bettina von Zwehl's practice, which has evolved through a number of high-profile artist-residencies in museums including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2011); the Freud Museum, London (2015); the New-York Historical Society Museum (2018); The Queens House, Greenwich (2018); and the BTV Stadtforum Innsbruck in liaison with Castle Ambras, Austria (2019/20).
She is currently artist-in-residence at the Ashmolean, The University of Oxford's Museum of Art and Archaeology, where she has access to the museum's collections and archives. Making a new body of work in response to the Ashmolean, von Zwehl's year-long residency will culminate in a major solo exhibition at the museum in 2024.
Exploring representations of the human condition and human concerns, Von Zwehl's work is greatly informed by the world of psychoanalysis - with a particular interest in childhood and adolescence. The artist has developed a distinctive and conceptual style of portraiture, underpinned by her distinctive use of the profile view and silhouette.
In recent years, von Zwehl has further expanded her practice, examining museum collections and historic methods of display - such as the 17th century Wunderkammer.