Louise Giovanelli - New Now New York Wednesday, September 28, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Louise Giovanelli’s work excites with shimmering and luminescent scenes closely cropped on particular details of a larger source, be it a film still, Old Masters painting, or a staged photograph. With influences stemming from her tutelage under artist Amy Sillman while completing her postgraduate studies at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main (DE), but also seeking out specific historic paintings in situ such as the Ghent altarpiece, Giovanelli reinterprets not only the formal qualities of her classical influences but brings contemporary cultural references into the narrative. Utilizing a wide range of source material, she focuses on a small detail to slow the eye down, leading the viewer to engage in the meditative act of looking.

    "You have to learn how to paint, and the traditions and the art history, and then you can undo all of that. But if you don’t know what you’re undoing, then you’re just making a mess."
    —Louise Giovanelli

    Detail of the present work

    Specifically in Stele (2020), Giovanelli crops traditional architectural features of decorative, floral motifs so that they become removed from the context of the physical object the title of the painting connotes. Repetition and inversion lead the designs to flow into each other, however there are clear breaks between the panels, creating disruptions in the representational aspect of the image. Splashes of glowing pink across the dark background form shadows that both illuminate and interrupt the scene, revealing the materiality of the painting process. The qualities imbued into the canvas with the layering of oil paints and shades of colors dislocates time and place, developing a hazy mystery to the scene.

    As her auction debut, and coinciding with her first solo show at White Cube Gallery, Stele demonstrates Giovanelli’s ability to access her influences, be it Flemish Northern renaissance painters or pop stars, while playing with the classical and formal qualities of Western art. 

    • Provenance

      Workplace, London
      Acquired from the above by the present owner



signed and dated "Louise Giovanelli '20" on the reverse
oil on canvas
67 1/8 x 47 3/8 in. (170.5 x 120.3 cm)
Painted in 2020.

Full Cataloguing

$25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for $81,900

Contact Specialist

Avery Semjen
Head of Sale, New Now
212 940 1207

New Now

New York Auction 28 September 2022