Artwork Review: Christelle Desangles, "19.01.22"

45.75" x 35", Oil on linen, 2021


On her website, Christelle Desangles writes that she favors abstraction so that the viewer can direct their own “inner journey” based on what they see, without the artist’s influence. For the same reason, Desangles doesn’t title her works. Though she avoids easily identifiable subject matter, Desangles says that lately she has been putting celestial space into her work.

Looking at 19.01.22, I see the intent of conveying natural power and mystery: the intense blue color and the light contrast evoke a sense of the sublime. In Romantic art of the 18th and 19th century, the term “the sublime” references the awe-inspiring unpredictability of nature. In this painting, I see a vast ocean, with a beam too smooth to be lighting splitting the sea.The artist statement accompanying it explicitly mentions the sublime, saying that “by a sublime horizon linking sky and sea, the blue becomes vertical. A descent into ourselves becomes possible. A vertiginous descent that elevates us.” This delightful statement speaks to the reflective aims of this series. The other paintings in this blue series resemble similar watery scenes, or galaxies, or maybe just blue. To reflect on what you see, stop by the Nelli Bar and Paul Wieghardt Gallery. Christelle Desangles’ work, along with that of Shar Coulson’s, Cecelia Feld, Catherine Forster, and Beverly Kedzior will be on display until May 22nd, 2022 as part of the Expressive Exuberance exhibition.

Posted By
Eli Kosinski