Silvia Bonotto

About her work

Art critics place Silvia Bonotto (1965) in the stylistic realm of post-war abstract expressionists. Her work clearly transcends such categorization. She pushes the limits and barriers each time again a bit further without repeating herself or looking for a comfort zone. Still recently, her work was described by the director of a leading museum for contemporary art as ‘highly qualitative, truly consistent and experimenting in a given realm’.

Each of her paintings has a true soul, created during the working process, from nothing to something that is revealed through colors, light, forms and motion. Her aim is not to make an abstraction of a concrete subject or figurative theme; her paintings show the creative activity of a pure and open mind. This brings you into a state of wonder and fills you with inspiration and hope.

Through Silvia’s artistic ability, she is capable of conveying the same profound emotions regardless of the paintings dimensions. Whether her works are large in size or smaller in format, the impact of her art transcends the physical boundaries of the frame.

Her origins sometimes reflect in her work like a symbiosis between the depth of the old Flemish painters and the warm richness of the Venetian masters. She regularly dares to incorporate gold in her paintings, be it sparingly or generously . As a result, her canvases fit surprisingly well in classical interiors as well as in modern houses, offices and industrial surroundings. Her work is timeless.

Technically she uses oil-paint in many layers on canvas. The long drying process of oil-paint gives her the opportunity to use the plasticity of the medium by playing with a mixture of colors in each stroke of the brush or pallet knife.
Colored strips of canvas, paper or wood have become more apparent over the last years in her works. These collages sit on the multi-layered oil-paint background. They describe the same whirling movement around light.

Even if some of her works sometimes tends to lean to monochrome, there are usually either dots in an opposing or matching color or ‘openings’ to a layer beneath. These colored spots are well chosen and well located. Take one away and the painting loses its balance.

She also works with both ink and pastel on paper, mostly in smaller formats (ca. 50 x 80 cm) down to miniature sizes (ca. 12 x 20 cm).


As a 5-year old she was intrigued by paintings of the Belgian modern painter Louis Van Lint.
Later on she observed and studied the works of the post-war painters to discover how these masters created their art, how deep they went mentally and physically to express what was moving them.
In a quest for the transformation of the daily reality into a visually abstract parallel world, Silvia Bonotto found a way to pair imbalance with balance, to create a kind of precious harmony with light, color and form.

“Each of my brush strokes is a thought.. I want to create hope.. I am looking for balance in the imbalance of our daily material life; creating a slight imbalance in art will make it interesting and will keep our eyes and mind wondering. Abstract work doesn’t give you immediate answers..”

She works in ‘austerity’ in her workshop on the countryside, remaining unbothered by the hectic city-life and almost unconnected with the virtual world of social media.

She has participated in both solo- and group exhibitions, while her works continue to be displayed in museums, cultural centers and galleries.