UPGRADING THE WALL - the Krypta series
Juliet Vles is an European multidisciplinary artist, born in 1950 in the Netherlands, of Swiss-French nationality and actually living and working in Switzerland.
Essentially an abstract painter and sculptor, whose work is mainly to be found in arte povera and minimal art collections, her artistic interests also include installation work, drawing and digital painting.
The works of the Krypta series, half-painting half-sculpture, are geometrical constructions overlaid with painting, drawing and written panels incrusted, intarsia-like, into the supporting frame. The word «Krypta» (from Greek «hidden», «secret») stands for an artistic expression that does not seek to depict reality, nor even its abstraction, but the imago of an unconscious area of the mind not immediately accessible to analytical intelligence.
Formally, the hallmark of Vles’ artwork is the unusual combination of its sober, geometrical underlying structure and the multilayered, rough texture of the painted surface. Although often shown in exhibitions featuring Concrete Art, her work owes more to the Support/Surface movement than to formal Constructivism.
Often considered as a subspecies of sculpture, wall sculpture is in truth an artform in its own right and defined, not by its affinity to other forms of artistic expression, but by its interaction with the wall and the surrounding space.
In her recent work, the artist increasingly abandons the notion of "making images" and rather sees her work as an extension of living architecture - expanding the supporting wall by an additional physical and esthetical dimension. Leon Taveling (extract)
KRYPTA Installation view
L137 (broken wheel) 2022 mixed media/collage on wood 147x147x25cm (installation view)
KRYPTA Installation view Left wall: L93 (lukanon) 2016 mixed media/collage on wood 200x60x10cm Right wall: L136 (gravitas) 2022 mixed media/collage on wood 183x115x16cm
L136 (gravitas) 2022 mixed media/collage on wood 183x115x16cm
from MODULES 2022 mixed media/collage on wood: (from left to right) L135 / L134 / L133
from MODULES L140 2022 mixed media/collage on wood: 97x80x6cm
from MODULES L139 2022 mixed media/collage on wood: 70x75x6cm
After many years of artistic creation, my head has become an orphanage, inhabited by abandoned shapes, ideas and projects – discarded, not for lack of aesthetic or spiritual value, but for being on the wrong place at the wrong time and, for that reason, not compatible with the artistic project of that particular moment. Instead of quietly going away, as I told them, these beautiful orphans continue to loudly proclaim their birthright of realisation, to squat my studio and to clutter up my computer and my brain. So, under duress, I decided to accord them the life on canvas, paper or wood they so obstinately claim and thus let them shape their own reality and their own legend.
L107 (beautiful orphans) 2016 mixed media/collage on wood 132x168x16cm (private collection)
L108 (beautiful orphans) 2016 mixed media/collage on wood 140x115x16cm (private collection)
Throughout human history, the moon has been a metaphor of the darker side of nature - of mystery and crime, of trance and insanity and, of course, of creative madness. As a dyed in the wool rationalist, I have no use for moongoddesses and werewolves - even less for the disgusting rites of fascistic moon-sects. But I believe in the beauty of a moonfrozen landscape, the intuition of sleepwalkers (y compris in science, as Arthur Koestler has so impressively shown), and in the power of the human mind to create poetry out of a moonlight shadow.
L105 (lunar lyrics) 2016 mixed media/collage on wood 130x155x8cm (private collection)
L109 (lunar lyrics) 2016 mixed media /collage on wood 112x170x10cm
L126 (lunar lyrics) 2019 mixed media/collage on wood 165x112x30cm
Spell Tower refers in the first place to the building of words, which is a key feature of the KRYPTA series. But besides its linguistic definition, it also implies the more poetic sense of enchantment, «casting a spell», which some consider to be the ultimate relevance of art.
L119 (spell tower) 2018 mixed media/collage on wood 131x150x12cm
L88 (triptych) 2014 mixed media / collage on wood 200x350x17cm
L89 (Carillon) 2015 mixed media / collage on wood 130x233x11cm (private collection)
L70 2015 mixed media/collage on wood 180x232x10cm (private collection)
L124 (divergence) 2019 mixed media collage on wood 125x105x11cm
L125 (grey eminence) 2019 mixed media /collage on wood 191x99x24cm
L23 (Time and the Hour) 2010 mixed media / collage on wood 310x135x25cm (private collection)
L76 2013 mixed media / collage on wood 200x130x17cm (private collection)
L81 2013 mixed media / collage on wood 200x130x6cm (private collection)
L104 (ways of perception) 20195 mixed media /collage on wood 80x80x12cm
For my assemblage work, I also use found objects which are inserted «brut» so as to avoid all risk of prettifying. Conform to the arte povera doctrine, the material used - industrial paint, glue, paper, plywood - has no intrinsic monetary value. The legitimation of the oeuvre is purely artistic. In my recent work, I increasingly abandon the notion of making images and rather see my wall sculptures as an extension of architecture - building (stricly non-religious) sanctuaries in an alienated environment.
L100 (sanctuary) 2015 mixed media /collage on wood 103x100x9cm (private collection)
L83 (sanctuary) 2015 mixed media /collage on wood 103x100x9cm (private collection)
L97 (sanctuary) 2015 mixed media /collage on wood 103x100x9cm (private collection)
L14 (dorian) 2017 mixed media /collage on wood 113x73x8cmm (private collection)