Golden light, crimson red, turquoise and umber earth: the art of Noelle Kalom arises from colours. Embodying the bold and intense contrasts of her homeland, New Mexico, the artist creates an abstract topography that starts from a real landscape.
Noelle is a great observer. Thanks to its energy and dynamic nature, the American Southwestern landscape is her primary source of inspiration. The High Desert of Taos, where she was born and surrounded by a community of artists, is where she gets in touch with natural elements. In the middle of the desert, Noelle can create a visceral bond with them, trying to channel the same power onto the canvas. Her paintings are abstract at first glance, but they start from nature. Noelle captures the thin line that defines the horizon. She absorbs the vibrant hues of fire, circles, and shapes of natural landscapes, the mysterious atmosphere of collective rituals and ceremonies. Each of her works, characterized by evocative titles such as Inception, which refers to the origin of everything, or Secret Chamber, which brings to mind the magmatic chambers of volcanoes, the crevices where energy accumulates, seems wrapped in a mystical aura.
Noelle’s paintings are highly recognizable by her recursive colour palette, embellished by incorporating bright and shiny-looking mixed elements such as tiny glass beads. This blending is her stylistic signature. From a technical point of view, the artist combines acrylic with the precious finesse of other materials. The execution process consists of a gradual layering. After a layer of thick gel, Noelle spreads numerous layers of paint using the palette knife until she recreates an abstract landscape. Rivers, fields, and canyons lose their connotations to become dreamlike territory.
The painter’s practice is rooted in the style of Abstract Expressionism, particularly that of female artists, with whom she shares impulsiveness and experimental techniques. Like painters like Lee Krasner, Noelle also creates abstract paintings using knives, brushes, fingers, and hands. There are also affinities with contemporary abstract expressionist painters, such as Laurie Barmore, who uses multiple layers on a structure, or the painter Vivian Suter, who can capture the wilderness of the Guatemala landscape.
Noelle’s abstract topographies can combine the primitive force of colours with the elegant preciousness of glass beads, almost as if they were Klimt mosaics embedded in abstract paintings. These two voices coexist on that same canvas, revealing an independent language cultivated in her life full of inspiration. Raised in the New Mexico desert, Noelle Kalom lived and worked in New York City, the Pacific Northwest, and Portugal, exhibiting nationally and internationally. She is currently represented by Magpie Gallery in New Mexico and at Atelier Natalia Gromicho in Portugal. A visionary artist, each of Noelle Kalom’s paintings leads to an unknown territory, revealing a path that is perceivable only on an intuitive level and not through rationality
Noelle Kalom is the Gold Artist of the ArtAscent Abstract call for artists. To see the full body of work and profile, get a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Abstract issue.