Below is a slideshow of some Isabelle Bonzom's Smiles paintings, watercolors on paper or on canvas.
"What interests me in the smile is how the face moves, its metamorphoses. With the brush and the paint, I try to catch the light, the translucency of the skin and the changes of colors and shapes. I'm stimulated by the rendering of the different expressions of the eyes and of the mouth which, open, shows the interior... It's the pure expression of life, a question of carnation and incarnation", Isabelle Bonzom explains.
In 1998, curator Olivier Delavallade invited Isabelle Bonzom to participate in l’Art dans les Chapelles (Brittany, France), an event organized by the Ministry of Culture, the Region of Brittany and other sponsors including the Télérama Magazine (arts and entertainment weekly). She exhibited her series of Faces, among them Smiles. L’Art dans les Chapelles is a contemporary art show that aims at connecting various audiences: connoisseurs of contemporary art, amateurs of historic monuments as well as hikers. Isabelle Bonzom shares that approach.
At the Chapelle Saint-Louis de la Salpêtrière, in Paris, in 1999, Isabelle Bonzom has exhibited this series of Smiles. This chapel, designed by Bruand and built around 1675, is settled in the Hôpital de la Pitié-Salpêtrière, founded by Louis XIV. The hospital became a center for research into insanity. Charcot, considered as the founder of modern neurology, worked and taught there. Today, the Saint-Louis de la Salpêtrière Hospital is one of Europe's largest hospitals, with a renowned department of cancerology. The Salpêtrière chapel is also used for contemporary art exhibitions. By showing her series of Smiles in this context, Isabelle Bonzom referred to the study done by scientists and artists on the semantics of human facial expression. She also desired to blow a little bit of hope and joy in these heavy medical and religious architectures.
© Isabelle Bonzom - 2021