Maryam Eisler

Maryam Eisler is a London-based photographer, editor, and art patron.

Eisler holds a BA from Wellesley College and an MBA from Columbia University. She has held executive editorial roles on various arts publications, and is also a member of the Tate International Council, co-chair of Tate’s MENAAC acquisitions committee. She is also a trustee of the Whitechapel Gallery, sits on the advisory board for Photo London, and is a nominator for the Prix Pictet Photography Prize.





A fascination for the American West has exercised a profound attraction for artists and photographers for over two centuries. Ansel Adams’ work in particular is regarded as part of a tradition of Western American photography that began in the late nineteenth century and included the works of Carleton Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge and Edward Curtis; Curtis spent thirty years on an ambitious photo-anthropological exercise documenting eighty Native American tribes west of the Mississippi. With such obsession has grown much fascination with the region’s spectacular nature and wildness.

Whilst working on a major book on American artists and their studios in 2012, Eisler fell in love with the rugged and majestic landscape of New Mexico. She later returned, camera in hand, hoping to capture some of the regions magic and spirituality. It was here that her first series of photographs, Searching for Eve in the American West, was born.

Searching for Eve in the American West was exhibited at Tristan Hoare from November 1st – November 12th 2016.



Whilst scouting for locations for her second major body of work, Eisler discovered the Carrieres de Lumieres (Quarries of Light), an extraordinary site which was once a bauxite quarry in the bowels of the Val d’Enfer (Valley of Hell).

The Carrieres also provided the setting for Jean Cocteau’s seminal 1960s’ film, Le Testament d’Orphee (Testament of Orpheus). As Virgil tells us, Orpheus once descended into the underworld, but it was he who returned whilst Eurydice remained. The term ‘quarry’ itself can mean ‘something chased or sought’, and who was possibly pursued with more vigour than the woman Orpheus followed to hell?

This other-worldly backdrop in southern France became the first setting for Eurydice in Provence – a collection of elegant, monochromatic photographs of the female form – where the artist has juxtaposed myth and reality to explore ancient and universal themes: love and lust, trust, ‘The Divine Feminine’, human temptation, invincible passion, and mankind’s insignificance amidst the greatness of nature.

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