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Fine Art alumna Louise Giovanelli's delicate and luminous paintings are on display in London and New York.

Fine Art alumna Louise Giovanelli's delicate and luminous paintings are on display in London and New York. (Installation View of "Mixing It Up - Painting Today" at Hayward Gallery, 2021. Courtesy of Hayward Gallery. Photo by Rob Harris.)

Fine Art alumna exhibits delicate and luminous paintings in London and New York

21 October 2021

Louise Giovanelli continues to build her international profile with prominent shows

An emerging painter and Manchester Met Fine Art alumna’s delicate and luminous paintings are currently on display in two exhibitions in London and New York.

Louise Giovanelli, who graduated from BA (Hons) Fine Art at Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University, is showing her work in Mixing It Up: Painting Today, a major group exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, London, celebrating paintings that bring together diverse images and ideas.

Her work is exhibited alongside 30 other contemporary UK painters who span across three generations, from household names to emerging talent, reflecting an increasing interest in painting as a medium.

Installation View of "Mixing It Up - Painting Today" at Hayward Gallery, 2021. Courtesy of Hayward Gallery. Photo by Rob Harris. 

Giovanelli’s paintings featured in the show use traditional techniques to manipulate the light-reflecting and light-absorbing qualities of different pigments and surfaces.

Meanwhile, her current solo exhibition Auto-da-fé, at GRIMM Gallery, New York, features new paintings depicting the aesthetic of stage performances with various acts suspended.

Since graduating in 2015, Giovanelli has been gaining attention as a rising young painter with her delicate and luminous works which inject vitality into historical subjects. Her body of work includes staged photographs, film stills, classical sculpture, and architectural elements.

In each interconnected series, she weaves visual clues surrounding a specific moment or event. Using repeat motifs, some paintings appear nearly identical, except for slight alterations to the composition or tonality.

Installation View of "Mixing It Up - Painting Today" at Hayward Gallery, 2021. Courtesy of Hayward Gallery. Photo by Rob Harris. 

Giovanelli speaks fondly of her time studying at Manchester School of Art: “I have a deep affection for Manchester school of Art and the time I spent there. I was able to explore ideas with support and guidance, as well as having my thinking challenged in a robust manner.

“Manchester School of Art is unique in that it is an institution that still values the core traditional principals of painting - principals I was taught during my time there, and which formed and still sustain my artistic practice today. I will always be proud of my decision to study there.”

Giovanelli’s paintings are as much about the subject matter they depict, as what is not shown but suggested within their borders.

Installation View of "Auto-da-fé" at GRIMM New York, 2021. Courtesy of GRIMM.

This is demonstrated in Prairie, two large-scale diptychs central to the exhibition portraying sets of closed curtains on a stage. In Plexus she paints passages from performances that are cropped and magnified to harness the inner power they convey.

Another large-scale diptych shows two shimmering gold blouses which are tightly cropped together in the frame so the viewer can’t see who wears them or if they are hanging side by side.

She is continuing to build her international profile and has previously had solo exhibitions in Manchester, Amsterdam and Rome, among many others. Her work has also featured in group exhibitions internationally in Amsterdam, France, Berlin and New York. 

Louise Giovanelli, Auto-da-fé, 2021, framed

Ian Hartshorne, Senior Lecturer in Painting and Fine Art at Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “Louise demonstrated an outstanding, committed, and professional attitude whilst studying painting with us. Her ambition to advance the cause of painting, whilst simultaneously developing her own understanding continues with the same sense of purpose as she further establishes a growing international reputation. Louise often visits the art school and generously offers knowledge and advice to our current painting cohort.”

Professor Tim Brennan, Head of Art and Performance at Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “We are thrilled to see Louise’s international reputation flourish as a dynamic contemporary painter. As a student she was relentless in her pursuit of knowledge and a permanent presence in our studios and workshops. Louise speaks very fondly of her time with us and never misses an opportunity to endorse our painting programme and quality of teaching. We are very proud to be part of her story.”