Dimensions: 26 x 23″
Media: encaustic on panel
In Raphaëlle Goethals’ encaustic on panel, Grey Mutation, is from 2007. Goethals indicates a sense of transformation, where the word mutation suggests a movement from a desirable to an abject entity. Mutation is also charged with a sense of natural flux. By juxtaposing the purity of the color white with the more experienced color grey, Goethals reveals that the purity of the color has been endowed with a sense of history. Goethals uses naturalistic forms and colors such as the honeycomb and color red–indicative of the life-giving force. While less discernible than in other later works, Goethals’ later stylistic sense is conveyed in this work through her inclusion of a grid made of dots in areas where the colored pigment has been removed, achieving a sense of presence through subtle absence.
Raphaëlle Goethals is a self-described bicultural artist, who grew up in Belgium and left for the United States to pursue her artistic career in Los Angeles—culminating in her move to New Mexico where she has lived and produced work for the past twenty years. Due to her upbringing in an environment riddled with the artistic successes of Flemish Renaissance Artists and more contemporary individuals such as René Magritte, Goethals work often draws on this rich history, emphasizing a sense of process and creation in conjunction with art historical elements. Her work is best described as abstract, where Goethals gradually builds up detailed surfaces through layering wax and resin, incorporating elements from the present through each additional layer and the past by manipulating new layers to reveal the textures beneath. Goethals’ work redefines traditional ideas surrounding language and time and serves as a personal adaptation of a landscape, where her pieces visually explore the human mind rather than a geographical region. Goethals challenges viewers to limit the scope of information they take in and are frequently bombarded with by observing pieces that are reductive in nature and free viewers from external distractions.
by Keira Seidenberg