b. 1993, United Kingdom

Louise Giovanelli Biography

Louise Giovanelli is a young Manchester-based painter known for her large-scale paintings in shimmering, luminous colours that make multiple art historical or filmic allusions.

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Giovanelli's artworks use enlarged details to slow down movement as a form of contemplation, to showcase the qualities of light on draping curtains, cascading synthetic women's wigs, and the skin of (sometimes moving) body parts like bare necks or partly covered faces.

Early Years

Between 2011 and 2015 Giovanelli studied for a BA in Fine Arts at Manchester School of Art, finishing with first class honours. In 2018 she went to the Städelschule of Frankfurt-Am-Main to study under the legendary American painter Amy Sillman.

Louise Giovanelli Artworks

Painting Characteristics

Giovanelli blows up details that intrigue her discovered within reproductions of famous paintings (such as Renaissance masters like Fra Angelico or frescos in Byzantine churches) from the canon of Western art, or from contemporary mass-media culture, televised concerts (such as Mariah Carey) or stills from popular movies depicting film stars like Tippi Hedren or Sissy Spacek.

The artist is especially fascinated by the effects of raking light on curved skin, cut fabric surfaces (worn or on hangers) or the movement of female bodies, caught in moments of rapture or distress, paying close attention to luminosity and texture.

Giovanelli specialises in thin underpainting that makes the depicted material, hair or flesh glow as the gesso base beneath shines through. She works from found, digitally transmuted images (often from Instagram), but deliberately hides their context, withholding key information about the background of the grainy images, leaving space for the viewers imaginative interpretations.

Typical Giovanelli artworks include Cameo, 2020; Plexus, 2021; Dyer, 2020; Wager, 2021; Two Grooves, 2019; Billyo VI, 2019. Traversing or radiating light is the ubiquitous element within these works, be that rendered to seem as if it is coming from behind the viewer, from one side, or from behind the picture-plane of the depicted image where dark tones dominate. She often creates two or more near-identical works in series, using repeated motifs, testing the viewer's power of perception.


Louise Giovanelli has participated in many solo and group exhibitions.

Solo exhibitions include: Auto-da-fé, GRIMM, New York (2021); A Priori, GRIMM, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2020); in medias res, Workplace, London (2020); Aerial Silk, GRIMM, New York (2020); Time Inside, Frutta Gallery, Rome (2019); Louise Giovanelli, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, UK (2019); Louise Giovanelli, Workplace Foundation, Gateshead, UK (2019).

Group exhibitions include: Reflections, Part 1, Female Figures by Women Artists, Workplace, London (2021); All Eyes | We are the collection, AkzoNobel Art Foundation, Amsterdam (2021); Mixing It Up: Painting Today, Hayward Gallery, London (2021); Someone said that the world's a stage, GRIMM, New York (2021); Life Still, C.L.E.A.R.I.N.G., New York (2020); El oro de los tigres, Air de Paris, Romainville, France (2020).

Selected Awards

Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant (2021); Arts Council England project grant (2019); The Eaton Fund (2018); The Ken Billany Painting Prize (2015).

Selected Collections

British Council; Akzo Nobel Art Foundation, Amsterdam; THE EKARD COLLECTION; The Grundy Gallery Collection, UK; Hill Art Foundation, New York; Hort Family Collection, New York; Manchester Art Gallery Collection; Manchester School of Art Collection; Sarow Gallery Collection, Germany; University of Salford Collection, UK; Warrington Museum and Art Gallery, UK

John Hurrell | Ocula | 2022

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