AN ENIGMA, AN EXPANSIVE AND DREAMY JOY
by Eurydice Trichon-Milsani
An art critic and a doctor in art history, Eurydice Trichon-Milsani is also a writer and a poet. Following a conversation with Isabelle Bonzom at the painter’s studio, she wrote an essay that is a sort of meditation on the theme of the flesh, a theme very present in Isabelle Bonzom’s work. Translated in English are some excerpts of her text published in the 2003 catalogue of the exhibition "Corps à corps, terre à terre", at the Château d'Ardelay, art center of the City of Les Herbiers, Vendée, France.
“Bodies alone. Sprawling, sitting, falling backwards, taking the pose of Mantegna’s Jesus-Christ, they are here like targets in an empty space, their heads missing, out of the frame of the image... Silky envelope, bared and vivid flesh, put side by side, weave a dialogue in a troubling way. The viewer finds that same interest in the rapprochement of what is within and what is outside in Isabelle Bonzom’s series of paintings about the mouth, that intimate opening of the body which is not the redoubtable “safe“ evoked by Francis Bacon. Isabelle Bonzom’s mouths, often smiling, suggest an enigma, an expansive or dreamy joy.
The effect of the “cut”, cruel in the series on the bodies, is different in the case of the landscapes. The anatomical fragments of the urban fabric are tonic and perceived as abstract compositions.
These contrasts between the figure and the environment, between the human and the matter constitute an artistic choice that stimulates the eyes as well as the thoughts. For Isabelle Bonzom, painting is visiting the world, taking ownership of it, and then, making an inventory of the world, investing the canvas with that unctuous mat aspect, that structural density which is the imprint of character.
All this abundant variety, all this moderate exuberance is a precious present which the artist lavishes at a moment when painting becomes rare.”
Copyright 2018 © Isabelle Bonzom