Raphaëlle Goethals – Dust Stories 0227
Dimensions: 52.5 x 46.5″
Media: encaustic on panel
Raphaëlle Goethals is a Belgian artist who moved to the United States decades ago to study abstract painting. She grew up looking at works by Northern European painters, standing in reverence in front of their works for hours on end. While she did not incorporate the figurative subject matter of those masterworks into her paintings, she took their pristine spiritual nature into her soul. The paintings Raphaëlle Goethals makes today possess a pure, clear sense of light that seems to emanate from within. Raphaëlle seems to push through the troubling societal issues by asking herself: How does an artist paint space? How to paint the idea of forever? Her paintings present as a physical response to how we are often “bombarded with information and increasingly used to a simultaneity of experiences.” By painting infinite space, Goethals clears not only her mind of the bombastic cacophony that assaults us, but she offers the viewer a space to experience that same clarity. She helps people viewing her paintings step out of an anxiety-ridden mental state and into a universal spiritual space that we seem to have forgotten exists. For this experience Raphaëlle shares through her paintings, she elevates human consciousness in a way that nudges us toward a better future.
Raphaëlle indicates her lack of identification with a single space by alluding to a dynamic concept of belonging in the universal spiritual sense, rather than the static qualities of a distinct scene. She provides in her paintings just the hint of a grid, or colored points on which to hang space and give the eye a place to rest as it wanders through the painting’s atmosphere. Viewing Raphelle Goethals’ paintings, like looking up at the stars, is ultimately an experience of partaking in the spiritual essence all living beings share.Raphaëlle Goethals is an artist from Belgium who now lives and works in New Mexico. She creates atmospheric paintings, often with a grid of small spaces where the eye can rest. Goethals sees the blue sky as our sea in her beloved New Mexico, often referring to it as a “liquid sky”.
-Tonya Turner Carroll
Goethals’ paintings have been featured in numerous museum exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe, including a recent solo exhibition at the Morris Graves Museum. Raphaëlle Goethals is one of a group of remarkable women artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Agnes Martin, Agnes Pelton, Susan Rothenberg, Linda Benglis, Florence Pierce, and Judy Chicago—instrumental in creating the world-renowned contemporary art center of Santa Fe.
“We can thank the sun and the light it creates for the amazing spectrum of color we see everyday with our own eyes. Blue, to me is the most calming of colors and in New Mexico we have countless hues of this intriguing color.”
Raphaëlle’s love of the land and sky come forward in this work. As air and light swirl around our everyday lives, we forget the complexity and chaos and are calmed by sky’s seductive lure. Blue is associated with depth and stability. It is also beneficial to the mind and body.