The original work of three French artists Joëlle Kem Lika, Thomas Raoult and Val d’Off will be on display at Agora Gallery, NYC.

About Joëlle Kem Lika

French artist Joëlle Kem Lika takes her inspiration from nature, especially flowers and seascapes, though she turns such imagery into virtually Abstract Expressionist compositions bursting with gestural swaths of bold colors and brilliant plays of light. She cites the importance of the Buddhist concept of the "Pulse of Life" in her practice and, indeed, her works positively pulse with energy, whether in fiery and explosive canvases dominated by reds and yellows, or the evocative blues and greens of her water scenes and skyscapes.

Working quickly and vigorously, Kem Lika applies her saturated acrylic paints in layers, so that subtle shadings and contrasting tones emerge beneath the bold, dominant hues. The thick brushstrokes give momentum and direction to the most abstract pieces, while also lending a textured, practically sculptural element to the works. Her imagery ranges from precise and detailed figuration to pure abstraction, but the tension and energy present across this rich variety of paintings remain constant. Kem Lika invests each piece with incredible vitality and an irrepressible pulse.

About Thomas Raoult

The paintings of Thomas Raoult deliberately recall the work of early 20th century artists like Marcel Duchamp, Paul Klee and Giorgio de Chirico. Building with a set of personal pictorial codes, Raoult constructs paintings that reflect the relationship between individuals and the isolation that can form as a result of prejudices and lack of communication. Like the Surrealists, he allows his unconscious to guide him in creating every piece, all the while seeking the unexpected. Starting with oils and a brush or palette knife, Raoult begins by painting the background, gradually allowing a character, form or attitude to arise from the canvas as if of its own accord. As the artist himself says, pure art is a conversation between the conscious and unconscious, the material and the ephemeral.

Born in the Champagne region of France, Thomas Raoult describes himself as a “humanist misanthrope.” His current work is deeply influenced by the death of his father, his first art critic and teacher, but he hopes each person will take away their own message from his paintings.

About Val d’Off

Through her compelling mixed media on canvas art, Val d’Off explores the patterns of communication that exist in our current global society using an unusual approach. Before she begins painting, she covers the entire canvas with torn and patched up paper (taken from newspapers, books, photos, and handwritten pages). Inks, pencils, and pigments are then superimposed on the patchwork to create a multidimensional effect. The textual variations in the paper work to create prisms of light and breathe life into the overall image. In this way, the various forms of communication represented in the paper patchwork come to define the finished image, conveying the importance and value that words have in our culture. In a number of works, the artist even makes words the main subject of the piece, literally painting with words. As Val d’Off explains, “We are made of words: our first lessons, the pages in our first notebooks, textbooks... From the beginning they penetrate us, instruct us, reach to us, speak to us… or not. We keep them, leave them, and we build ourselves through them.”

Val d’Off currently lives and works in Paris, France.

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