Charlotte Culot

Belgium

Abstract Contemporary
Abstract Contemporary

“My wish is to create a reservoir of energy, so that each of us is faced with our own vitality.”

Charlotte Culot was born in Belgium in 1964 into a family of successful artists. Although she never pursued formal studio training, her art education began at a young age under the guidance of her mother, a multimedia book illustrator, and father, a renowned sculptor. According to Culot, art—especially drawing—has been a “part of her universe” since childhood, when she first discovered the gouaches, pigments, and pastels that now constitute her collages. In her twenties, Culot studied archaeology and the history of art at the University of Louvain in Belgium, where in 1988 she graduated with an honors thesis on West African vernacular architecture. During that time, she also practiced photography and participated in numerous exhibitions; yet she soon craved a more direct engagement with materials and textures, and in 1990 Culot turned to the painting and collage for which she is now internationally known. Culot’s most recent collages are arrangements of torn Kraft paper layered with various paints, pigments, and, in some cases, other materials such as wallpaper and sand. Color takes center-stage as both substance and structure in these works. For Culot, it is “the major theme” and preeminent tool for lending her collages a dynamic, “emerging force.” Indeed, an expressive energy reverberates across Culot’s canvases as deep blue and purple shapes pop against yellow and orange, and occasional blocks of magenta, green, or black tenaciously beckon the viewer’s gaze. There is, moreover, a vague sense of spatial depth in these works, but it is implied through subtle tonal variations and overlapping shapes rather than illusionistic perspective. As some strips of paper seem to emerge from the canvas, others recede calmly into the background, creating a visually exciting contrast that intensifies the energy of the vibrant hues. Focusing on the evocative rather than descriptive potential of materials, she embeds layers of feelings, experiences, and emotions into her collages and opens them up to endless personal reflection. As Culot affirms, “My wish is to create a reservoir of energy, so that each of us is faced with our own vitality.” Charlotte Culot

Galleries Showing Charlotte Culot ’s Work

Artwork by Charlotte Culot