Claudia Valsells is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Barcelona, Spain. She uses a variety of organic, irregular forms to create abstract paintings on canvas and paper.
Although Valsells' work fits comfortably within the broader category of abstraction, much of it feels rooted in the natural world, particularly landscape imagery. In her smaller paintings on paper one can't help but see the soft geometry of horizon lines, valleys, and mountains.
In the larger works, forms hug the painting edges to suggest a window frame, the view outside flattened in two dimensions yielding playful amorphous shadows. To study the paintings is to grow to love their loose, referential quality. Part of their appeal is that they feel familiar, even as they remain elusive.
Color is both the focus of Valsells' work and the foundation of her reductive compositions. She begins each painting by developing and refining color combinations in her sketchbook. The harmonies conceived are the product of lengthy experimentation and analysis in the studio.
Arrangements in tone, value, and intensity yield chromatically sensitive pairings: earthy ochre and brilliant cerulean blue, warm chamomile yellow and deep forest green.
Once fully satisfied with the range of the palette, Valsells transfers it to the canvas, often applying forms at the painting edges while omitting the interior. The shapes transposed are freeform and imperfect rivulets and semicircles.
With the placement of each shape informing the next, the process of painting becomes an intuitive exercise in which careful considerations of proportion and spatial relationships seem to both reinforce and play against one another all at once. The white of the canvas provides relief to the formal systems at work, becoming a natural resting place for the eye as it moves from color to form and then back again.
In the 1990s Valsells studied mural design at the Van der Kelen Logelain Institute in Brussels before founding arts&claus, a creative workshop specializing in color consultation and unique painting applications for interiors. During its 20 years in business, arts&claus executed complex color programs and site-specific painting commissions for a range of residential and commercial venues, including restaurants, luxury hotels, and retail spaces. Through these experiences, Valsells developed a mastery of color and theory, a skill set which launched her transition into full-time art making in later years.
Claudia Valsells (B. 1969, Barcelona) has been the subject of exhibitions at Miquel Alzueta Gallery, Barcelona (2017 & 2005), Palau de Casavells Gallery, Catalonia (2007), and Sala Vinçon Gallery, Barcelona (2004), among other venues. Her work is included in numerous private collections throughout Europe and by the Vila Casas Foundation, Barcelona.
All images courtesy of the artist and Miquel Alzueta Gallery