Christelle Kahla

Christelle Kahla was born in 1994 in Morges, Switzerland. She lives and works in Basel.

In 2017, she obtained a BA in Fine Arts at ECAL (University of Art and Design of Lausanne) and is currently completing a MFA in Fine Arts at the Art Institute of the College of Art and Design in Basel.

Her work is regularly exhibited in group exhibitions in Switzerland (Kunsthaus Baselland, Muttenz ; Jungkunst, Winthertur ; Kaskadenkondensator, Basel ; Galerie Kissthedesign, Lausanne ; Elac, Renens ; Les Ateliers de Bellevaux, Lausanne). In 2018, she had her first solo exhibition at Villa Moyard in Morges.

On the one hand, her practice is part of a tradition of painting that she is continuing. On the other, her approach is cheeky with regard to the codes of painting’s past decades that she addresses in her work, such as the tension between gestural and geometrical forms, mediated and authentic experience, repetition and change, flatness and depth, lines and pattern, figuration and abstraction.

Projecting spray paint on the canvas is direct, immediate and inaccurate. A technique that does not allow her to go back or to correct. The failures are part of the painting and testify the radicality and the ruthlessness of the medium.

Perhaps as the ultimate strike to the classical presentation format of framed painting, she has chosen to work on unstreched raw cotton or linen that are stapled on the wall. The canvases are stretched in a way that their horizontal and vertical verges are distorted and their shapes appear like animal skins. Thus, the canvas shape does not relate anymore to the space it is expected to occupy, but its surface.

As for her predecessors, she is painting variations of the same picture. A meticulous repetition in which the support is brought at the same level of composition as the paint, while maintaining its function as surface presenting color. An intensification of movements that makes her paintings decoratively rich, to the point where the conceptual dimension could seem to fade next to the flamboyant surfaces.

Instagram : @kahlakahlakahla