In this world we walk
On hell's roof
And we look at the flowers.

Issa Kobayashi (1763-1828)

Nourished at the sources of blues, jazz, and the ancestral music of all the continents, Natasha Krenbol is among those artists whose global culture and mixed blood seem to contain the memory of every vanishing ethnic group: one in a family of primitive and cosmopolitan poets who belong to the larger family of endangered Mother Earth. Her works draw their inspiration from what is commonly termed the "Third-World" and from contact with countries where life is simple and resources are often scarce, and where genuine social relationships, can still be found. No wonder that her works should open frontiers, which in her opinion, should have disappeared long ago.

In the process, another mental life became familiar to Krenbol. For her, "objective chances" signs, encounters form a web that makes everyday life mystical in an age when life itself is surrealistic.

For her, painting is total commitment, a way of life, of breathing, as is music that accompanies her everywhere. She offers us the possibility of seeing other tunes and other blends. Her paintings are full of life: there everything dances and everything moves. They express a whole culture that she carries everywhere with her, as does the travelling storyteller with his personal mythology.

Animals, plants, human beings, imaginary creatures, ail beings are of equal merit in Krenbol’s universe, where the small and the great are of equal importance in the eyes of the Creator. One senses a particular tenderness for the one thousand and one small, essential details of contingency, which form the miracle and the charm of existence. It’s a universe where natural animism prevails, where life runs its course, at its own pace, stubborn and obstinate like the donkey, Krenbol’s favourite companion.

It is here perhaps that resides the secret of what gives so much life to these works: the superimposition of at least two worlds, two concerns, at variance and at the same time complimentary, just as in life. Poetry rediscovers the space of free expression, and one senses the freshness of an unfettered and talented improvisation : one which knows how to, as in music, combine the feeling, the talent and the very particular sense of balance that great living artists develop by dint of warding off blows from all sides.

Laurent DANCHIN
Writer and art critic, French editor of “Raw Vision”
Translated by Elaine WALSH

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"It started as a study. I was writing silences, writing nights, I noted the inexpressible. I fixed vertigos."

Arthur Rimbaud
A Season in Hell
Delirium II, Alchemy of the Word



 

Painting is like writing poetry, catching the wind: “Wings to soar above life” as Vincent Van Gogh said. Wisdom resides perhaps in the acceptance of some folly in your life…

I was born in Zurich. In my early years I practiced ballet dancing, which has left me with a taste for a certain exactness. I love calligraphy, cartography, and graffiti, I have always been painting.

I feel close to Paul Klee, Henri Michaux, Gaston Chaissac, Pygmy painters, folk art from all over world, Outsider Art for its spontaneity.
Amerindian societies marvellously succeed in combining a high intellect, a culture of myths, references to the past and a difficult natural life, which forces them to an economy of means, a life reduced to the essential.

I love searching, digging at what’s behind the surface, leading the traveller from one world to the other, creating paths: archaeology of the unconscious.
Everything about painting is both so strange and so simple. I do marvel at the most mundane things.

I try to be simple with simple means: pigment, binder and canvas, or any other chance material.

I never know what is going to happen. At the beginning there is chaos, a sort of magma, I grind, I scrape, I rake. An image half-seen soon brings another one. The canvas builds itself up, layer after layer, things keep arising.

I let things come, I follow my intuition.
The brush acts like a seismograph of the mind.

N. Krenbol

 

1978-1982

Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris

1985-1986

Kala Institute, Berkeley, California

group exhibitions

2017

Galerie Jean-Louis Mandon - Lyon

2018

Manufacture des Tabacs, Université Jean Moulin - Lyon

2015

Galerie Autour de l’image - Lyon

2014

Pli, au Quai - Pont-de Barret
The Universe Hotel - Saillans

2009

The Universe Hotel - Saillans

2008

Le Belvédère - Saint Martin d'Uriage

2004

Galerie Taoa - Crest

2003

Espace Saint-Martin - Paris : Le printemps des singuliers

2000

Prieuré de Manthes

1999

Funabashi city gallery - Japan

Art Space Rashinban - Tokyo

1998

Outsider Art Fair - New York

Judy A Saslow gallery - Chicago : Far out'98,

Halle Saint-Pierre - Paris

1996

Altstadt gallery - Bern

1995

Galerie Hamer - Amsterdam

1993

Musée de la poste - Paris : Timbres d'artistes

Site de la Création Franche - Bègles : Les jardiniers de la mémoire

1991

Musée de la poste - Paris : Les guichets de l'enfance

1990

Musée de la poste - Paris : Coups d'envois ou l'art à la lettre

Gallery Pixi et Cie - Paris : Rouge écarlate

1988

Drawings for a book Urban and suburban parks published by the Pompidou Center, exhibited at the Center

solo exhibitions

2016

Santé vet - Lyon
Galerie Alpha - Thiers
Galerie Autour de l’image - Lyon

2014

Hotel of the Universe - Saillans

2013

Alter Art Gallery - Grenoble
P.P.M.M. Aucelon

2012

Creation Franche Museum - Bègles

2012

Am Stram Gram theatre - Geneva

2011

Animals spirits, l'Orangerie - Montéléger

2007

Galerie Art Prise de Tête - Romans

2005

ArtActua - le Mans

2000

Am Platz gallery, Twilight - Eglisau, Switzerland

1999

Galerie Jonas, Petit-Cortaillod - Neuchâtel, Switzerland

1998

Galerie d'Origine - Lyon

Altstadt gallery - Bern

1997

Altstadt-halle - Zug, Switzerland

Trubahus gallery - Azmoos, Switzerland

1995

Galerie Michel Lagarde - Paris

Galerie Avantgarde - Mannheim, Germany

Trubahus gallery - Azmoos, Switzerland

1994

Musée Adzak - Paris : Alabama

Galerie du Ressort - Paris

Galerie Hamer - Amsterdam

Gallery Bad Schinznach,  - Switzerland

1991

Gallery Art'o - Aubervilliers : In Harlem streets

La petite galerie - Paris : Le couloir des ancêtres

1986-1994

Drawings regularly published in “Le Monde Diplomatique” and other magazines. Creates Totopiok, the main character of a tale (English and French version, to be published)