BISCHOFF/WEISS is pleased to present Sunspot Mirage, an exhibition of work by Louise Thomas and Francesca Anfossi.
The paintings of Louise Thomas concern themselves with the dissonance between architectural structures and the surrounding world. Relying upon a broad reference base, the artist draws from her own travels as well as holiday brochures and photographic resources. With these images as a starting point, she seeks to excavate the architecture of abandoned resort sites, including 1930s Italian nationalist-socialist architecture, North American resort complexes, Victorian hospitals, and Lidos. Her painterly brushstrokes highlight an abstracted sense of nostalgia and the failed space of holiday paradise. Through the haunted stillness of her canvases, the artist attempts to ameliorate dystopian spaces by allowing a new visual experience through the juxtaposition of historical and contemporary sites.
The references made by Louise Thomas to leisure sites and Italy is echoed in the work of Francesca Anfossi, who originates from a popular Italian tourist town. Anfossi seeks to amplify the often-overlooked subtleties in naturally occurring scenes. Through the use of collage (sculpture, paint and video), the viewer is lead through a journey of imaginary landscapes. Drawing from her collection of kitsch postcards and travel memorabilia as inspiration, the artist uses a diverse range of materials to make installations that combine images of the spaces of recreation along with that of everyday life. Acting as souvenirs, the objects and images prompt an internal remembrance of experiences, rather than reproducing the actuality of an event. The artist’s installation, created especially for this exhibition, directs the viewer through the space and thus the interaction with the work becomes as important as the memories which she attempts to provoke.
Through similar structures and shapes, and despite visually distinct results, both artists explore sites and experiences of perceived paradise. While Thomas conflates her fragmented images in paint and Anfossi builds up an environment through collage, each artist attempts to reclaim memories and capture fleeting moments of existence.
Louise Thomas is a recent graduate of University College Falmouth. In October 2007, she was short listed for the 4 New Sensations Art Prize, hosted by the Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4. Group shows include Concrete Hole You Clench my Soul, PZ Gallery, Penzance (2007), a self-curated group show and Second X-Posure Present ‘Revolver’, PZ Gallery, Penzance (2007), an artist curated project featuring the works of established and emerging artists. In 2007 the artist was also short-listed for the Celeste Painting Prize.
Francesca Anfossi is a graduate of Middlesex University and is currently completing her M.A. in Painting at the Slade School of Art. Her work has been exhibited widely in a number of group shows, both in Britain and abroad. These include Soul Stripper, Brussels (2008), Suburbia, Foreign Press Association, London (2008), Trace, Frankfurt (2007), Picture This, Scarlet Maguire Gallery, London (2007), Kurzfilmsalon 1.1, Vienna (2007), SV06, Studio Voltaire, London (2006), and Arte Spazio Contemporaneo 1, Milan (2005).