Louise Bonnet “The Hours”

Gagosian Gallery Park & 75

poster for Louise Bonnet “The Hours”

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Gagosian presents The Hours, an exhibition of new oil paintings by Louise Bonnet. This will be her first solo exhibition with the gallery. The installation will be viewable exclusively through the storefront windows of Gagosian Park & 75, New York, twenty-four hours a day.

These paintings were inspired by medieval illuminated manuscripts such as the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (c. 1412–16), the books of hours that functioned as time planners through the depiction of daily prayers and seasonal activities. However, rather than honest labors, Bonnet’s Hours foregrounds a series of impossibly distorted, ambiguously gendered figures engaged in nightmarish variations on mundane routines, such as eating and sleeping. Reflecting the nature of human experience during the crisis of the current pandemic, Bonnet’s figures, with their bloated extremities and faces devoid of features, are uncanny embodiments of emotional tension.

As its title and inspiration suggest, The Hours also mines the rich history of Christian imagery in European painting. Calvary with Potato (2020), for example, depicts blood gushing from a wounded finger—a synecdochical allusion to Jesus on the cross and to the experience of psychological pain. But while the injured figure writhes in agony, the minute size of its wound hardly seems to justify such a performance. Bonnet’s figure, with its extended neck, also recalls the tormented subjects of Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (1944). In Dawn and Vespers (both 2020), meanwhile, she sets pneumatic female torsos against imaginary landscapes, recalling Renaissance characterizations of the Madonna.



from September 29, 2020 to November 07, 2020


Louise Bonnet

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