Louise Thomas


BISCHOFF/WEISS is pleased to present Artifice of Paradise, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Louise Thomas.

With different speeds, as children and adults, we wander through amusement parks, with wonder determined by our sensibilities. The slow ascending staircases become more dramatic with the crowds, both fostering and desecrating the value of experience. Our leisure is determined by inertia, but also by our wild expectations of a ride. As Italo Calvino said in Invisible Cities, "arriving at each new city, the traveller finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places." In desiring to punctuate or mark something from the next, we attempt to pause or move forward in a stream of unconscious landscapes, memories, and embodied architecture.

Artifice of Paradise at BISCHOFF/WEISS traces the narrative of landscapes that Louise Thomas has visited in her paintings: 1930's Italy, lidos, Victorian hospitals, American resorts, abandoned estates, and now amusement parks. While attempting to capture fleeting moments of experience, Thomas questions the architectural structures she finds within their political and historical contexts. Waterfalls, lazy rivers, and spas create an illusion of temporal tranquility upon backgrounds of modernist architecture sinking into Jurassic nostalgia. The paintings convey the cosmopolitan dream of escape mixed with the uncanny as they critique the mechanical structures of contemporary tourism, leisure, and entertainment industries.

The haunted stillness in the paintings depicts a certain sense of paradise in limbo. The serenity of landscape, no longer seemingly pastoral opens itself to the possibility of its hidden constructed narratives and its brutality. Thomas refers to what Svetlana Boym calls the "Jurassic Park syndrome", or the use of modern science for the recovery of futuristic and prehistoric references which escape contemporary memory. This desire for "a total restoration of extinct creatures and a conflict resolution" is a techno-nostalgia in American popular culture. However, as if paradise was lost on purpose, there is also the paradoxical myth of a new world that forgot its history and recreated prehistory brand new.

Text by Elena Gilbert

Born in 1984, London. Lives and works in London and Berlin.

BA Fine Art, University College Falmouth
Art Foundation, Kingston University

Current Exhibition
2013 Solo show, OTHER Projects, Berlin
Solo Exhibitions
2013 Artifice of Paradise, BISCHOFF/WEISS, London
Everybody is a Lake, BISCHOFF/WEISS, London
Ferdynand Zweig Scholarship, Poly Arts Center, Cornwall

Selected Group Exhibitions



The Dark Rooms, Passmore Edwards Institute, curated by Jesse Leroy Smith, Helston
(in)visible, Edel Assanti, London
The Winter's Wayzgoose, Copped Hall, Epping
Ingleside Arts Festival, Oxfordshire
Idle Women, T1 2 Gallery HIVE projects
Art Brussels, BISCHOFF/WEISS, London
One Can Often be Thwarted by Some Antidisestablishmentarianism,
Primo Alonso, London
Louise Thomas, James Fisher & James Pimperton, Campden Gallery, Gloucestershire
Zoo Art Fair, BISCHOFF/WEISS, London
Kapellmeister Pulls a Doozy, Seven Seven Contemporary, curated by Richard Meaghan, London
Interiors, 10g Gallery, New York
Sunspot Mirage, BISCHOFF/WEISS, London
Sweet Monument, The Sassoon Gallery, Peckham Rye
Concrete Hole You Clench my Soul, PZ Gallery, self-curated, Penzance
Second X-Posure, Revolver, PZ Gallery, curated by Jesse Leroy Smith and Volker
Stox, Penzance
New Sensations, Truman Brewery/Brick Lane, organized by the Saatchi Gallery
and Channel 4, London
Sunrise with Sea Monsters, Trinity Buoy Wharf, London
Falmouth Graduate Show, Woodlane Campus, Falmouth, Cornwall
Shelflife, The Gallery, curated by Jonathan Stubbs and the artist, Surrey

Residencies and Awards
NES Artist Residency, Iceland (October 2010)
Florence Trust Residency, London (August 2009 -July 2010)
Celeste Painting Prize (Shortlisted, Artists Category)
4 New Sensations (Shortlisted), organized by the Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4
Ferdynand Zweig Memorial Travel Scholarship