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Isabelle Cornaro: Blending Sculpture and Painting

Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and curator Guillaume Désanges present site-specific installations by Isabelle Cornaro in Brussels. Until 26 March 2016.

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In her works, artist Isabelle Cornaro treats sculpture like painting and painting like sculpture. She lays bare the relationship of painting to layout and composition, framing and colour, and emphasizes the relationship of sculpture to it’s spatial setting, and the physicality and shifting perspective of the viewer.

“Isabelle Cornaro has enjoyed a growing presence on the international contemporary art scene over the past decade,” states Guillaume Désanges, curator of the exhibition at gallery space La Verrière in Brussels. “She is one of a generation of artists drawing on precise knowledge and research, while at the same time pursuing a very practical commitment to the plastic formalisation of that erudition, in their work.”

“Cornaro’s practice is broadly definable as collage, incorporating bold aesthetic, historical and conceptual associations. Her sources combine erudite iconography, such as landscape paintings, photographs of modern architecture and still lives, and popular culture, such as domestic design, cheaptrinkets and kitsch decorations,” Désanges continues. “Her work operates within a gently contradictory régime, actively questioning the paradoxes and blind alleys of traditional representation, actualised through the experience of modern movements and media from Minimalism to cinema.”

Born 1974, Isabelle Cornaro lives and works in Paris and Zurich. She has graduated from the École du Louvre and the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts in Paris, and has won the Prix Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard in 2010. Her work has been exhibited widely in galleries and museums.

For the exhibition at La Verrière, Cornaro has produced new work conceived as a sculptural compilation of her experiments with colour, perspective and volume. The site-specific installations play with the ambivalent status of the workshop-gallery space and resonate with the venue’s topography and her own artistic preoccupations.

Cornaro’s solo exhibition closes a series of exhibitions by art curator and critic Guillaume Désanges. The series, entitled Gesture and Thought, was launched at La Verrière in 2013. La Verrière is a gallery space of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès, which supports learning, transmitting and exploring creative gestures that shape lives today and into the future. The foundation develops programmes in contemporary visual arts, photography, performing arts, design and craftsmanship through exhibitions and artists’ residencies, education, platforms, international calls and awards. •

Isabel Cornaro at La Verrière in Brussels, Belgium, from 15 January–26 March 2016. The exhibition is a part of exhibition series Des Gestes de la Pensée – Gesture and Thought.

Main image
Isabelle Cornaro: Floues et colorées (2010). 16mm film transferred to digital, colour, silent. Duration 3’ 13’’. Courtesy of the artist.

Isabelle Cornaro, view of the exhibition Témoins Oculaires, Spike Island, Bristol, 2015 LEFT. Scenes # 2 (2015). Varnished birch plywood, gold mirror. Perspex, stainless steel, acrylic paint on glass. RIGHT. Reproductions # 3 (2010/15). Acrylic spray paint on wall. Courtesy Stuart Whipps (photographer) and Spike Island.
Isabelle Cornaro, view of the exhibition Témoins Oculaires, Spike Island, Bristol, 2015 LEFT. Scenes # 2 (2015). Varnished birch plywood, gold mirror. Perspex, stainless steel, acrylic paint on glass. RIGHT. Reproductions # 3 (2010/15). Acrylic spray paint on wall. Courtesy Stuart Whipps (photographer) and Spike Island.
Isabelle Cornaro: Scenes # 4 (2015). Acrylic paint and varnish on MDF, plastic laminate, velvet fabric roll, miscellaneous objects. Courtesy Stuart Whipps (photographer) and Spike Island.
Isabelle Cornaro: Scenes # 4 (2015). Acrylic paint and varnish on MDF, plastic laminate, velvet fabric roll, miscellaneous objects. Courtesy Stuart Whipps (photographer) and Spike Island.
Isabelle Cornaro: Choses (2014). 16 mm film transferred to digital. Duration 2’06’’. Courtesy of the artist.
Isabelle Cornaro: Choses (2014). 16 mm film transferred to digital. Duration 2’06’’. Courtesy of the artist.
Isabelle Cornaro, exhibition view, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2015 FROM LEFT TO RIGHT. Reproductions #1, Reproductions #7, Reproductions #4 (2010/2015). Acrylic spray paint on wall. Size 375 x 250 cm. Courtesy of the artist © Aurélien Mole.
Isabelle Cornaro, exhibition view, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2015 FROM LEFT TO RIGHT. Reproductions #1, Reproductions #7, Reproductions #4 (2010/2015). Acrylic spray paint on wall. Size 375 x 250 cm. Courtesy of the artist © Aurélien Mole.
Isabelle Cornaro: Scenes # 5 (2015). Acrylic paint and varnish on MDF, fabric. Bakelite, miscellaneous objects. View of the exhibition. Témoins Oculaires, Spike Island, Bristol (2015). Courtesy Stuart Whipps (photographer) and Spike Island.
Isabelle Cornaro: Scenes # 5 (2015). Acrylic paint and varnish on MDF, fabric. Bakelite, miscellaneous objects. View of the exhibition. Témoins Oculaires, Spike Island, Bristol (2015). Courtesy Stuart Whipps (photographer) and Spike Island.
Isabelle Cornaro: Paysage avec poussin et témoins oculaires VI (2014). Painted birch plywood, brass, various objects and fabrics. Size c. 700 x 1200 cm. Exhibition view, M-Museum, Louvain, 2014. © Dirk Pauwels. Courtesy of the artist.
Isabelle Cornaro: Paysage avec poussin et témoins oculaires VI (2014). Painted birch plywood, brass, various objects and fabrics. Size c. 700 x 1200 cm. Exhibition view, M-Museum, Louvain, 2014. © Dirk Pauwels. Courtesy of the artist.
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