Isabelle Cornaro works with painting, sculpture, film and installation, to explore the influence of history and culture on our perception of reality. As a trained art historian specialising in 16th-century European Mannerism, her visual language draws on a wide array of references from the Baroque to modernist abstraction. In her work Cornaro uses found objects imbued with symbolic potential or emotional value, which she presents in different types of display and media to reveal the subtle shifts of meaning provoked by processes of reproduction and translation. Borrowed from domestic, decorative or functional contexts, these artefacts are often linked to Western culture as a means of power, their combination and arrangement in the artist’s work inviting spectators to question the relationships between systems of representation and our understanding of the world.
Cornaro has been the subject of solo exhibitions at many institutions, including South London Gallery, London, Spike Island, Bristol, M-Museum, Leuven, LA><ART, Los Angeles, Kunsthalle Bern, CNAC-Le Magasin, Grenoble and Kunstverein Düsseldorf. Recent group exhibitions include Musée du Louvre, Paris, Archeo, The High Line, New York, ICA, London, Palazzo Cavour, Turin, MAMVP, Paris, Triennale de Paris, Palais de Tokyo (2012), and Sculpture Center, New York.