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OFF WITH THEIR HEADS !

Lecture by Isabelle Bonzom, September 14, 2010
New York Academy of Art


Artist Isabelle Bonzom is a painter of the flesh. She views painting as a living body. She is primarily concerned with revealing relations between the matter and the image.

After earning a doctorate in art, she did post doctorate studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts of Paris where she learned fresco and art philosophy. She completed her art history studies at the Sorbonne. Isabelle Bonzom is one of the rare contemporary artists to master buon fresco. She has authored a reference book on the art and technique of fresco "La fresque, art et technique" (Eyrolles publishing house, Paris, 2010). Since 1989, she has been a lecturer at the Musée National d’Art Moderne (Pompidou Center) in Paris. Read more about her pedagogical activities.

In 2012, the New York Academy of Art invited Isabelle Bonzom for a second lecture: "Painting as adventure"

"Off with their heads!"

Isabelle Bonzom discussed her research, both as a painter and a scholar, on the representation of the flesh based on two iconographic characters: Judith and Salome. Through dramatic images showing women carrying male heads, Isabelle Bonzom talked about the cutting of body, image and composition. She examined how Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Gentileschi, Veronese, Rubens and Klimt treat those subjects and how Brancusi, Matisse and Fischl evoke the question.

 

 

 

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List of the works of art commented during this lecture:

1- Michelangelo, detail of « Judith, Abra and the head of Holofernes », 1508, buon fresco, Sistine Chapel, Vatican
2- Klimt, « Judith and the head of Holofernes », 1901, oil/canvas, 84x42cm/33x16,5 in, Östeneichische Galerie, Belvedere, Vienna, Austria
3- Bonzom, Smile, 1994, watercolor/paper, 20x13,5cm/ 7,9x5,3 in
4- Bonzom, Smile 1993, watercolor/paper, 15,5x10,5cm/ 6,1x4,1 in
5- Bonzom, Head of a young goat, 1997, watercolor/paper, 50x65cm/ 19,7x25,6 in
6- Bonzom, Short rib, 1997, watercolor, ink/canvas, 42x58,5cm/ 16,5x23 in, private collection, USA
7- Bonzom, Twisted, I, 2001, oil/canvas, 95x115cm/ 45,3x37,4 in
8- Bonzom, Back, 2002, oil/canvas, 50x65cm/ 19,7x25,6 in, private collection, France
9- Bonzom, Nude, 2003, watercolor/paper, 45x37cm/ 17,7x 14,6 in, private collection, France
10- Bonzom, Translation, I, oil/wood, 72x128cm/ 28,35x50,40 in, private collection, France
11- Bonzom, detail of Translation, I
12- Michelangelo, « Judith, Abra and the head of Holofernes », 1508, buon fresco, Sistine Chapel, Vatican
13- Michelangelo, Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, 1508-1512, buon fresco, Sistine Chapel, Vatican14- Michelangelo, total view « Judith and Holofernes », 1508, buon fresco, Sistine Chapel, Vatican
15- Michelangelo, detail of « Judith and Abra with the head of Holofernes», 1508, buon fresco, Sistine Chapel, Vatican
16- Caravaggio, « Judith beheading Holofernes», ca.1600, oil/canvas, 145x195cm/ 57x77in, Palazzo Barberini, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Rome, Italy
17- A.Gentileschi « Judith decapitating Holofernes», 1612-13, oil/canvas, 159x126cm/ 62,6x49,6 in, Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Napoli, Italy
18- Gentileschi « Judith slaying Holofernes», ca.1620, oil/canvas, 100x162,5cm/ 39 3/8x 64 in. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy
19- Gentileschi detail of the blood « Judith slaying Holofernes», ca.1620, oil/canvas, 100x162, 5cm/ 39 3/8x 64 in. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy
20- Gentileschi « Judith with her maidservant Abra», 1625, oil/canvas, 182, 8x142, 2cm/ 72x 56 in. The Detroit Institute of Arts, USA
21- Peter-Paul Rubens « Judith with the head of Holofernes», 1616, oil/canvas, 120x111cm/ 47,25x43,7 in. Herzog Ulrich Anton Museum, Braunschweig, Germany
22- Peter-Paul Rubens « The Feast of Herod», 1633, oil/canvas, 208x264cm/ 81,9x104 in. National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburg, UK
23- Matisse « The Sadness of the King », 1952, gouache/paper, 292x386cm/ 115x152 in. Musée National d’Art Moderne, Pompidou Center, Paris, France
24- Brancusi « The new born, II», 1920, bronze, marble, wood, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Pompidou Center, Paris, France
25- Fischl « Reflection V; The Unspeakable Question, Ode to the Disembodied », oil/canvas, 1995, 72 x 58 in, private collection
26- Fischl « The Bed, The Chair, Dancing, Watching » 2000, oil/canvas, 69x78 in, private collection
27- Fischl « Living Room, Scene 3 », 2002, oil/canvas, 84x114 in, Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany
28- Fischl, « Mistakes Mistakes! Everything Shakes From all the Mistake », 2004, oil/canvas, 87x113 in, private collection
29- Veronese, « The Temptation of Saint Anthony », 1552, oil/canvas, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen, France
30- Veronese « Judith and Holofernes», ca. 1581, oil /canvas, 231,5x 273,5cm/ 91,14x 107,7 in, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen, France
31- Veronese, « Judith and Holofernes», ca. 1582, oil/canvas, 195x176cm/ 76,7x69,2 in. Palazzo Rosso, Genoa, Italy
32- Fischl, « Mistakes Mistakes! Everything Shakes From all the Mistake », 2004, oil/canvas, 87x113 in, private collection
33- Veronese, detail of « Judith and Holofernes», ca. 1582, Palazzo Rosso, Genoa, Italy


Isabelle Bonzom expresses her thanks to the Palazzo Rosso and the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen for their help.


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