by Angie Kordic
Natalia Koren Kropf refers to her artworks as “visual poems,” created across a splendid variety of media: drawing, painting, printmaking, works on paper and sculpture. Her lyrical language seems to stem from a connection with nature, initially hinted at by the titles of some of her series: the linocuts named Summer Memory, Purple Sunset, Blue Evening; her watercolors depicting Northern Light or Winter Sun; Spring Blossoms and Windy Day, belonging to the ink drawings.
There is also something organic about it all, perhaps most notably in the abstract intaglios: intricate shapes floating in a sensitive color palette, somehow calm in comparison with the more frenetic abstractions found in the Musical Movement series, evoking the vivacity of music through stronger hues. The organic thought also translates into ceramic, bronze, or terra-cotta sculptures, as their three-dimensional interpretations.
The two-dimensional work by Natalia Koren Kropf’s online show is soon available online at Artios Gallery, from June 21 to August 21, 2020. On the occasion, we talk to the artist about what being a multidisciplinary artist means to her, what teaching community art workshops at the New York Public Library is like, and what the future might hold.
Left: Natalia Koren Kropf - Ocean Dream / Right: Natalia Koren Kropf - Harmony, 2020
Natalia Koren Kropf at Artios Gallery
Widewalls: What can you tell us about the works to be on view at Artios Gallery?
Natalia Koren Kropf: My works represented by Artios Gallery speak about currents issues that concern me such as heritage and escape culture, deforestation and ocean pollution, harmony, and unity. Using visual abstraction as a language, I express these ideas in two- and three-dimensional works. A common element that connects all my artworks is movement, including musical movements, and distribution of light, literally and figuratively speaking.
Widewalls: This is not the first time you are showing with the gallery. How would you describe your relationship?
NKK: Thanks to their careful selecting process, Artios Gallery curates the works or various artists in such a way, that all are able to harmoniously co-exist side by side, despite different aesthetics.
I have participated in several recent shows and each artist was fairly represented and given enough space to showcase their work. I would describe our relationship as a mutually respectful.
Widewalls: Among all the media you work with - drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture - do you have a favorite? What are the advantages each of them brings to your practice?
NKK: I do not distinguish art into the categories, based on the medium. I believe in the creative process as part of life, I create and therefore I am, paraphrasing René Descartes here.
And then the fact that I have begun my artistic journey at a fairly young age, being born into a family of artists, that gives me an advantage of many years of formal and informal training by observing, studying, and always experimenting. It is not up to me to call my work experimental or not, but it is my process that requires constantly to re-evaluate my work and re-invent my way of thinking about it.
Widewalls: And the subject matter? As far as I can see, it flows between abstraction and figuration. What makes you decide what you create at a given moment?
NKK: I love the figure - human form is always inspiring to me and I cannot and will not disconnect from its enigmatic beauty and expressive dynamic. After all, it had been part of my human identity to glorify the Divine design of the human form.
My abstract work comes from formal visual elements such as movement, color, shape, composition, and can be related to culturally complex symbols and topics, but not always. My process is highly intuitive and whatever feels right at the moment, dictates the medium.
Luckily, I have a lot of techniques in my creative “toolbox” to choose from, but if I'm not satisfied, I look for new ones to master, hence, another experiment is in order.
Natalia Koren Kropf - Symphony, 2020
Widewalls: What has teaching art brought to you? Has it changed the ways you view art, perhaps?
NKK: A wise sage said once, “If you want to master something, teach it”. That is pretty much the answer.
Widewalls: What’s next for you?
NKK: To stay curious and to keep my eyes open, my heart compassionate, my mind sharp when I study and my mind empty while I paint, draw, sculpt.
Natalia Koren Kropf - Scherzo, 2020
Featured images: Natalia Koren Kropf - Heritage; Disbanded. All images courtesy Artios Gallery.