CHAPELLE DE LA SALPÊTRIÈRE
SOME SMILES IN THE CHAPEL OF THE SALPÊTRIÈRE HOSPITAL
One year after her solo show at L’art dans les chapelles contemporary art festival, in Brittany, Isabelle Bonzom presented some paintings from her series of faces and expressions, this time, at the Chapelle Saint-Louis de la Salpêtrière of the renowned Pitié-Salpêtrière teaching hospital in Paris.
The Pitié-Salpêtrière is a teaching hospital in Paris, one of the Europe's largest hospitals. Originally a gunpowder factory, it was converted into a hospice for the poor women of Paris in 1656, at the direction of Louis XIV. The Pitié-Salpêtrière was known as a psychiatric research center. Neurologist and professor of anatomical pathology Jean-Martin Charcot took over the department. Known for his work on hypnosis and hysteria, he experimented and taught at the hospital. Now, the Pitié-Salpêtrière is a general teaching hospital, with departments focusing on most major medical specialities, notably in cancer research.
The Salpêtrière chapel was built by Bruant around 1675 and considered as one of his masterpieces. Built on the model of a Greek cross and has four central chapels each capable of holding a congregation of some 1,000 people.
Isabelle Bonzom was invited to participate in a group show in the Salpêtrière chapel in 1999. Through the exhibition of her series of smiles in the hospital chapel, she referred to the scientific and artistic research on the semantic of the facial expressions. She also wanted to inject a sense of hope and joy in this architectural and religious ensemble set in the heart of this severely charged medical field.
Isabelle Bonzom's paintings exhibited at the Chapelle de la Salpêtrière in 1999. From left to right :
"Snapshoot" - "Gospel" - "Closed Eyes" - "Feel good"
© Isabelle Bonzom - 2021