BISCHOFF/WEISS is pleased to present ‘Everybody is a Lake’, Louise Thomas’s first solo show at the gallery.
In this new series of paintings, Louise Thomas offers various levels of representation: from afar, the work can be read as abstract, whereas upon closer inspection, the viewer can discern portrait paintings beneath the translucent layers of paint and large fluid brushstrokes. Inspired by portraits of Gainsborough and Sargent, Louise Thomas has reinterpreted sections as well as entire paintings by these artists, reclaiming and rendering explicit the landscape characteristics implicit in the original works.
Although known primarily for their portraits of wealthy patrons and their families, Gainsborough and Sargent often expressed in their private correspondence the desire to return to the pleasurable but unprofitable landscape painting of their early careers.
Enhancing the patterns of light and colour found within the folds of the female sitters’ clothes, Thomas transforms the source materials into new mountainous landscapes that embody the opulence of the wealthy sitters in the original portraits.
The presence of these once-powerful women can still be found within these paintings, yet with their faces veiled behind layers of paint they return as apparitions, faded with the patina of time, or submerged beneath deep pools of water. Their luminous hands and fallen bodies re-emerge as stone relics within a sublime and monumental landscape.
Louise Thomas (b.1984) lives and works in London and is currently undertaking a residency at The Florence Trust.