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Abstract Art by Artist Raphaëlle Goethals




EXHIBITION DATES: July 31- September 12th

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, July 31, 2009, 5–7 p.m.


Media contact: Catherine Whitney, Director, Modern and Contemporary Art


Santa Fe, NM, June 13, 2009 – Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, is pleased to announce the gallery’s first solo exhibition of abstract paintings by Raphaëlle Goethals, July 31, 2009 – September 21, 2009. The exhibition, which showcases Goethal’s artful and seductive morphing of abstract expressionist field painting with minimalism, opens at the gallery with a public reception on Friday July 31 from 5:00 -7:00 pm. The artist will be in attendance.


Goethal’s signature large encaustic on wood panels continue her 15 year dialogue with light, space, and time. A native of Belgium, Goethals studied at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, CA during the early 1980s. After graduating with honors, she began exhibiting in LA, moving quickly from a small, but exciting non-profit space (LACE) to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She relocated to New Mexico in 1992, expanding her manipulations of paint to incorporate the wide open spaces and intense clarity of light of her new surroundings. While gestural, Goethal’s work display a remarkable restrain and suppression of the artist’s ego. Discreet references to art historical antecedents such as the romantic sublime of J. M.W Turner or the moody formalism of Motherwell whisper from behind her painted veils of quiet and unique calm. Luring the viewer into a space of contemplation, her work evokes childhood experiences of gazing through frozen layers of ice into spaces that are both imaginative and hauntingly memorable. Perhaps such multivalent tonalities stem from her early upbringing under muted skies in Belgium, which turned bright when she was nine, when a family move landed her in the south of France. Opaque yet translucent, unbounded and restrained, fluid and frozen, her work has been described by essayist and critic Arden Reed as being constructed out of dichotomies: “Surface/depth/, randomness/design, flesh/word, motion/stillness. Her paintings both enliven and compose us.”


Goethals artfully weaves these seemingly contradictory qualities into her paintings with multiple layers of encaustic (a mix of Damar resin and beeswax), pigments, and idiosyncratic script-like marks that are reworked and partially erased, leaving trace hints and remains under luscious layers. Recently, Goethals has introduced additional color into her predominantly monochromatic and earth-toned palettes. Her signature white surfaces have turned increasingly rich and psychologically compeling in a new series of “black” paintings. Of this new body of work, the artist comments; “These paintings, with their distilled, vulnerable, and subtle surfaces, remind us to stop and pay attention. Luring the viewer into a space of contemplation, this (work) attempts to bridge the personal and universal, the expressive and the minimal. We are exposed to the vulnerability of present time. Ultimatly, these paintings are massively silent…”


Goethals’ work has been widely exhibited in the United States and Europe, from the Musée Denys Puech in Rodez, France to the Daum museum of Contemporary Art, Missouri and the New Mexico Museum of Arts, Santa Fe. Her paintings have been featured in international art fairs in Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, and Miami, and are held in distinguished corporate and private collections.

For more information on the exhibition, From Here On, or to arrange an interview with the artist, please contact Catherine Whitney, Director, Modern and Contemporary Art, Gerald Peters Gallery, 1011 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, NM  87501 (505) 954-5700 or The gallery is open from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Tuesday through Saturdays.

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