House to Protect a Dream, oil on canvas, 120 cm x 160 cm, 2018
Norwegian Green, oil on canvas, 100 cm x 150 cm, 2018
Sink Down the Green, oil on canvas, 140 cm x 170 cm, 2018
Reflecting Atrium, oil on canvas, 120 cm x 160 cm, 2017
In the Green Middle of Nowhere, oil on canvas, 150 cm x 180 cm, 2017
White Balance, oil on canvas, 150 cm x 150 cm, 2017
Long-term View, oil on canvas, 150 cm x 150 cm, 2017
Vor dem Gewitter, oil on canvas, 40 cm x 50 cm, 2017Artist Statement
In the Studio . . .
For me, painting means a constant balancing — from the realization of my intuition and pictorial intention to my current painting theme.
One of my goals is to create a very specific mood in the painting. Usually, I work in my studio but when I am traveling, I like to work plein-air.
My work reflects always-changing phases of concrete depiction and abstraction. I like to manipulate natural phenomena to create watery color traces on the canvas and try to integrate picturesque coincidences in my work.
When I notice while painting that I have missed the moment of stopping time, I have doubts about the relevance of my work. My painting process becomes blocked, and what follows is the feeling of having lost my connection to the painting and of having failed. That is my low point.
I take a break. I carry on with my painting.
Some of my works almost seem to paint themselves and, at the end of the painting process, have everything that I intend.
Runners-of-themselves, they can withstand my criticism after weeks and even years.
My work . . .
Nature: In my perception of nature, the remote forest, the building plots, fallow industrial sites, the disorderly wilderness, and the profile of a shoreline all play important roles.
For me, this is where reality and fiction blend, each into the other.
When I go where the roads end, when I am in “off” mode, I am at places of longing.
When silence swallows me up, I am apart from the reflections of light and shadow in the midst of rich vegetation.
I am searching for the magic of often-hidden places, which seem to have the ability to exist beyond time. Somewhere in the tangled chaos of vegetative figures, shapes, and lines, spaces and darkness existing outside logic’s limits, I sense there are places of long-ago happenings, the presence of something very big and very old.
I always paint nature in awe.
Architecture: Architecture becomes my painting theme, if it stylistically has clarity of form and surface and stands out in strong contrast to the vegetation surrounding it. Architecture is order.
I am inspired by the aesthetics of the functional (practical), formal language of classical modernism.
I also love the architectural design in early James Bond films, as well as the layout of the bungalows from the 1950s and 1960s.
My fictions about such architectures deal with the latter’s individual atmosphere and history, their utilization, and their likely inhabitants. The things behind. My interpretations flow into my paintings through an appropriate color palette, a concealment or an omission.
In my work, portraits of houses surrounded by nature substitute for the “presence of man” in those areas of tension between significance and banality.
About the Artist
Carola Schapals was born in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, in 1954, and lives and works in Bremen. She attended the Hochschule fur Kunste Hannover and Hochschule fur Kunste Bremen, University of the Arts, Bremen, and holds a master’s degree.
For many years, Carola Schapals has shown her work in galleries and museums throughout Germany, and in the Netherlands and Spain. In the Netherlands in 2018 she exhibited in such venues as Galerie Irok, Horst, and Galerie DeelenArt, Rotterdam. In Germany, she presented work at Galerie Schmalfuℬ in Berlin. In 2017 she showed at the Rotterdam Contemporary Art Fair, Rotterdam, and at Ann’s Art, Groningen, Netherlands. She exhibited in the international group show at Kap Hoorn Art, Bremen, Germany, as well. In addition, she took part in 2016 in the NordArt International Art Exhibition in Germany and appears in the catalogue for that show; in June of that same year she was Artist-in-Residence at Van Gogh’s birthplace in Zundert, Netherlands. She was one of a dozen contemporary artists invited at the request of an important private collector in Dordrecht to participate in Dordrechts Museum’s 2015 show “Nieuwe Gezichten op Dordrecht”, which featured the artists’ visions of the city. Numerous works by Carola Schapals can be found in public and private collections.
Carola Schapals’s many awards include the 2010 Royal Talens Painting Award, Noordwijk, Netherlands; the 2013 Premio de Artes Visuales (Pintura) from the Fundacion Arena, Barcelona, Spain; and the 2014 Second Art Award from Pintar Rapido, Amsterdam. In addition to being selected 2016 Artist-in-Residence at Van Gogh’s birthplace, Carola Schapals was given a solo exhibition in July of that year at the Van Gogh Gallery in Zundert, Netherlands.