Louise Giovanelli: in mediās rēs

30 October - 18 December 2020 London


40 Margaret Street

London, W1G 0JH


Gallery hours:
Weds - Friday, 12 - 6pm 

Opening: All day 
Friday 30 October: 10am - 6pm


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.