Aerial Silk: Louise Giovanelli

Works
Installation Views
Press release

GRIMM is pleased to announce Aerial Silk, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Louise Giovanelli (1993, London, UK). This will be the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery and her first solo exhibition in the US.

Louise Giovanelli has been drawing attention as a rising young painter for her delicate, luminous works, which inject vitality into historical subjects from the canon of Western Art. For her inaugural solo presentation in the US, Giovanelli presents a body of paintings that continue her development of several distinct series.

Giovanelli explores the fidelity of images through a meticulous representational style influenced by the early Renaissance masters. Although her subject matter is carefully observed, she has a detached and unsentimental approach to painting more concerned with the immediate experience of seeing than projected meanings and associations. Her sources are primarily chosen for their formal qualities and include staged photographs, film stills, classical sculpture, architectural elements and ornamentation.

The artist navigates different modes of ‘picturing’ and approaches to painting encouraging the viewer to switch between modes of looking. Rich fluid hues recede into the canvas contrasted by soft, luminous volumes that define the structure of a supple fold, a strand of hair, or a closed eyelid. As the eye passes over her paintings, sharp lines, ‘glitches’, or smudges are apparent in some works, causing interruptions in the coherence of the whole. These small interventions and visual non sequiturs are a recurring motif and a method of experimenting with the boundary between modes of aesthetic refinement and distortion.

In the series of paintings titled Peeping Tom, each of the works depict a single moment from the 1960s thriller of the same title. Here the viewer is presented with the image of a woman shutting her eyes briefly before a lethal attack by her stalker, but the context of this original narrative is obfuscated in the painting. Instead, Giovanelli’s cropped framing, and fragmented visual clues communicate an atmosphere of violence and restriction.

Dividing and gridding the canvas, the artists gives structure to abstract or natural elements, this creates a pictorial perspective that is distinctively contemporary in the way elements are detached and isolated. This method is present in the series titled An Ex, where dense foliage is layered onto the shape of a letter X crossing at the center. In other works, dormant or peripheral objects are enlarged and painted with a sense of deferential authority. Giovanelli’s tender consideration of her subject matter eludes today’s culture of endless scrolling and visual burnout. To behold her work is reorienting; it is detached from familiar urgencies and delivers moments of deep consideration.