Thinking of a Place
This will be Ms. Goethals' second exhibition with the Holly Johnson Gallery, it will continue through May 25th.
In her current exhibition Thinking of a Place, Santa Fe based Belgian native Raphaëlle Goethals is presenting her lush abstract paintings of encaustic resin with earth and mineral pigments. Renewing her life long investigations of contemporary nonobjective abstraction, this new body of work is exemplary of Goethals’ ability to reinvent her own visual path through time and space. This time around Goethals’ subtle suggestions of place are on grander scales as the narrative which perhaps has always been hidden deeply within her own tradition of knowledge and technique, is now seeking a cautious emergence and navigation. We see Goethals here as not only a painter, but also as the philosopher of a metaphorical art of substance, and one whose own personal narrative is now symbolic of that greater collective journey.
Goethals activates and patiently builds her pieces with numerous layers of encaustic paint. From the very thin to a thick impasto, the medium is continuously liberally applied and then gradually scraped away from the surface until her desired levels of visual depth and emotional resonance are achieved. The final effect she creates reveals her own places and memories within a luscious surface in which every inch has been carefully attended to. In the show’s one large diptych Somewhere Near the Center, we find Goethals breaking new ground with an iconic piece that at once is one image and yet at the same time strongly suggests a dual consciousness present at work in the handling of the medium. This complex materials and thinking process which is so central to her life’s work allows Goethals to reflect on her own experience of duality in the extraordinary space and light of northern New Mexico, where she has accomplished maintaining a working art studio … along with raising her family for over twenty-five years.
Born in Brussels Belgium in the spring of 1958, Goethals grew up under the same glazed skies of north central Europe which produced the devotional works of Van Eyck and Van Der Weyden. Her art education began with exposure to important influential exhibitions in Basel and Paris of such greats as Per Kirkeby and Francis Bacon. She received her B.F.A. from the Atelier 75 in Brussels, before relocating to Los Angeles in the early 80’s to extend her studies at the Otis Art Institute. Her work has been widely exhibited in the U.S.A. and abroad, and has been collected by distinguished public and private collections including the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, the Boise Art Museum and the New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts. Goethals’ paintings have been featured in Art Forum, Art in America, Architectural Digest and THE Magazine, etc.