New York’s Gagosian Gallery is presenting new oil works by Louise Bonnet. The Los Angeles-based, Switzerland-born painter is hosted by Gagosian for the first time ever, presenting paintings that combine the rich history of Christian imagery in European painting with scenes from today’s COVID-19 pandemic created during the time of lockdown.
Bonnet’s distorted figures, characterized by bloated extremities and featureless faces, partake in mundane activities, like eating and sleeping. In pieces like Calvary with Potato (2020), it is evident that she’s fascinated with the body and religious elements. The painting depicts blood gushing from a wounded finger — an allusion to Jesus on the cross and to the experience of psychological pain. Elsewhere, In Dawn and Vespers female torsos are seen against imaginary landscapes, evoking Renaissance characterizations of the Madonna. Together, these paintings illuminate the artist’s inner life by imbuing fantastical religious imagery into everyday scenes.