Rhapsodized by painters such as Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and its representation evaluated by cultural critics like Jill Beaulieu, the harem continues to compel with its loaded pleasures and perils. Moroccan-born, New York City-based artist Lalla Essaydi was no exception - though her fascination is more deeply rooted and personal than most viewers'.
"Harem" - the 2009 series of photographs included in "Lalla Essaydi: Les Femmes du Maroc," the artist's first West Coast one-woman show - was conceived when Essaydi was inexplicably drawn back, repeatedly, to an opulent Moroccan palace that once belonged to the Pasha Glaoui.
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Lalla Essaydi "Les Femmes du Maroc" will be on view at Jenkins Johnson Gallery in San Francisco 6 October - 6 December, 2011.