Workplace is delighted to present in mediās rēs, Louise Giovanelli's first solo exhibition in London.
Bringing together new paintings by the artist, in mediās rēs places the viewer in the centre of a seemingly unrelated grouping of images. In isolation, each appears as a fragment of a narrative; placed together in dialogue they allude to archetypal and existential themes.
Two small blurred paintings of women depict frozen moments of movement. Sourced from film, each painting is cropped tight to the subject implying a sense of confinement and threat. Giovanelli's figurative works are halted at a moment of imminent drama, at a threshold between states. In each work the stilled expression of the subject is enigmatic and ambiguous, simultaneously corporeal and rapturous.
Nearby, a larger work Dyer is part of a series of paintings of theatrical curtains, or Grand Drapes. Layers of orange and green paint combine to create chromatic grey folds that fill the canvas. A mute and weighty shroud that absorbs both light and time.
In Axis, the glossy sheen of auburn hair is seductive yet uncanny. A thumb, barely visible at the top of the painting is out of place and strange, a clue that the hair is in-fact a wig held up to a camera by the artist. A vertical line bisects the painting splitting the surface with yellow underpainting, reflexively plotting a coordinate between two historical axes: the thematic and the formal.
This dialogue exists throughout Giovanelli's practice and these works continue to explore the relationship between the silence of the imagery and the visual noise on the surface. Appearing at once dynamic, as a result of the richness of details and materiality; and muted, due to soft hues and the stillness of the subjects, the paintings exist in perfect balance between paradoxical forces.
In this exhibition, the artist investigates how painting can be experienced in the same way as other art forms that slowly evolve through time. Being particularly interested in film and theatre for their ability to create lasting contemplative atmospheres, Giovanelli's research focuses on ways in which painting as a medium can create an experience of diluted time, deconstructing linear narrative through disassembling and isolating imagery from a scene to create an experience of temporal dissonance.
Through her repetition of subject matter, she invites the audience to look, and look again, making the slow act of seeing itself the subject of the works.
Louise Giovanelli was born in London in 1993 and lives and works in Manchester UK. She completed her BA in Fine Art at Manchester School of Art in 2015, and she recently studied at Städelschule in Frankfurt Am Main, Germany under Amy Sillman.
Her work was recently featured in The Anomie Review of Contemporary British Painting published by Anomie Press. Recent solo exhibitions include Aerial Silk, Grimm, New York; Manchester Art Gallery and A Throw to the Side, Warrington Museum and Art Gallery; Slow to Respond, Touchstones Gallery, Rochdale; From Here to Here, Part 1 & 2, The Grundy Gallery, Blackpool.
Giovanelli’s work is in numerous museum collections including: The University of Salford Art Collection; The Grundy Gallery Collection; Manchester Art Gallery Collection; Warrington Museum and Art Gallery Collection; Touchstones Gallery Collection; and Private Collections in UK, USA, Canada, China, Slovakia, Germany, and Italy.
Press release courtesy WORKPLACE.
Louise Giovanelli's paintings are concerned with stillness and anticipation – with what is, isn't and might soon be seen.
A walkthrough of the exhibition in mediās rēs led by Workplace co-founder and director Miles Thurlow and artist Louise Giovanelli.