LOUISE BONNET — at Galerie Max Hetzler

Louise Bonnet
New Works
Galerie Max Hetzler
41 Dover Street, London
16 January – 29 February 2020

Louise Bonnet, Roped butt, 2019. Galerie Max Hetzler. Images © the gallery and the artist
Louise Bonnet, Hollywood 1, 2019. Galerie Max Hetzler. Images © the gallery and the artist

Galerie Max Hetzler presents new large-scale paintings by LA-based artist Louise Bonnet, in her first solo exhibition in the UK. Known for her portraits of voluminous bodies, Bonnet presents the weight of human stresses and emotions in physical form. In her paintings, the figures’ bodies swell and bloat to exaggerated proportions, as though heavy with the feelings of the mind.

Simple actions, like kneeling or hiding, stretch and bend the bodies into uncomfortable extremes, often bringing the figures to the edge of the canvas itself. Interested in the tension of limbs, muscles and the materials that cover them, Bonnet transforms the human form as we know it, all the while retaining a masterful sense of corporeality.

Treading a fine line between humour and discomfort, comedy and tragedy, the anonymous figures are staged in isolation often against diminished backgrounds, their physicality rendering them statuesque yet faceless. The figures are dramatically lit in settings that border the surreal, from sparse domestic rooms, to moonlit tables. Inspiration for Bonnet’s works derive from such multiple sources as Hitchcock film scenes, Cindy Sherman works, Lucas Cranach paintings, and Renaissance portraits. These references usually appear as distorted as the depicted bodies themselves.

via press release, Galerie Max Hetzler, London
Featured Image: Louise Bonnet, Fresh Humiliation Escaping from its Blanket of Lies, 2019. Galerie Max Hetzler.
Images © the gallery and the artist