Raphaelle Goethals was born in Brussels, Belgium, and her childhood was spent absorbing the beauty of European art, as well as her own country’s complex history. After earning her BA at the Atelier le 75, she moved to Los Angeles to continue her studies at the Otis Art Institute. Attracted to the vastness of the landscape and the quality of light, she moved to New Mexico in the mid-nineties, where she developed her mature painting style. At once emotive and highly intellectual, her practice explores and overturns many truisms in painting, becoming explorations in painting itself and its history.
At the intersection of the minimal and the expressive, her sensuous surfaces dive into the evolution of consciousness. A sense of longing and rootlessness defines the artist, echoing the unfinished openness of the American West. After a short time in the United States, Raphaëlle’s work attracted the attention of curators, private collectors, and art critics through the US, and her paintings became highly desirable additions to their collections. The U.S. Department of State has curated Raphaëlle’s paintings into its Art in Embassies programs, exhibiting her paintings in places such as Windhoek, Namibia.
Over the past decade, a reverence for Nature and the natural elements became more prominent in her atmospheric paintings: Air, Water, Light, Earth, Wind. Deconstructing the modernist grid anchoring her earlier paintings, she places concrete elements such as the circle, the calligraphic gestural mark, or the arabesque, to give the mind and the eye a place to anchor while exploring her complex and meticulous paintings. Working with the difficult and historic medium of encaustic and mineral pigments, her multi layered, enormously gorgeous paintings evolve slowly. Through their diffused blur can be glimpsed all the evidences of their making, of ages, of culture’s distracted forgetfulness, and of nature’s idle reclaiming.