“ISABELLE BONZOM, THE ABSOLUT PAINTER”
Article by David Rautureau
In May 2014 « Vendée Magazine », a bi-monthly published in and about the eponymous Western region of France, dedicated a special edition to the 30 most prominent and creative contemporary women born in Vendée. Among them, editor David Rautureau writes about Isabelle Bonzom, who was born in Fontenay-le-Comte, a medieval and Renaissance city which also gave birth to François Viète, inventor of the new algebra and the foremost mathematician of the XVIth century, as well as hosted writer and humanist François Rabelais when he was a monk and scholar.
Born in Fontenay-le-Comte in 1964, Isabelle Bonzom lived there until she was 10. Today, she is based in Charenton, near Paris. For Isabelle Bonzom, painting can be everywhere and take all possible forms. The artist is among those who have literally reinvented watercolor. She is also one of the great experts at fresco panting. She authored a standard reference book on the topic published by Eyrolles in 2010 and taught fresco for ten years at the International Center for Mural Art in Saint Savin. She also lectures at Pompidou Center.
Her favorite themes as a painter are the body and landscape. She paints as no one else human bodies in motion through landscapes, mostly urban ones.
Her childhood in Fontenay-le-Comte has nourished her oeuvre, she says. “As a child, I not only learned to paint but also practiced dance there, which may explain my fascination by the movements of the body. The plains of Southern Vendée also remain in my memory, the fields which extend as far as the eye can see and the land which regularly comes up in my pictures,” she notes.
Fontenay-le-Comte’s classic and military statuary heritage made a strong impression on Isabelle Bonzom, herself a great expert and lover of sculpture. Then, the Mervent forest may be holding the roots of the artist’s attraction to blossoming trees which, in her work, become veritable explosions of color.
Her native Vendée has paid several tributes to Isabelle Bonzom with several exhibitions*, in Fontenay in 1993, Noirmoutier en 1996, and at the Herbiers in 2003 and 2010.
Copyright 2018 © Isabelle Bonzom