Aesthetica – Issue 110 Kalchie

Aesthetica – Issue 110 Kalchie

“Kalchie” is her artistic name, into which she has secretly infused her biographical data. She was born as Gisela Klara Schiel in Koblenz in 1937. As a child, she was fascinated by expressive art forms such as theatre, dancing and painting.
At first glance, her painting style could be described as abstract. But abstraction is only her starting point. Kalchie’s abundance of colour is fed by the light of the sun. She does not use artificial colours, but only natural colours. Blue and green, the colours of the sky, the seas and the plants, are her preferred hues. The blue flower of romanticism sends its regards.

Figurative elements, collages and montages give many of her paintings their supernatural context and magical aura. This is how the artist describes her creative process: “When I paint, I move in another world. I dive into the unfathomable sea of colors, I become a stream of color myself, I pour out, I flow away, I flow out, I let myself drift, drift away into other dimensions of our earthly existence.”

Concrete people rarely appear in her paintings. But there is one notable exception that allows us to look deep into Kalchie’s world interior. In a large-format painting, a Pieta, an image of the Virgin Mary, appears at the top, and it corresponds with the portrait of her artistic idol at the bottom right. It shows Antoni Gaudi, the ingenious creator of the Sagrada Familia, the cathedral of the Holy Family in Barcelona. “With Mary,” the artist confesses, “I feel connected in a special way. Just as the virgin Queen of Heaven, inspired by the Holy Spirit, gave life to her divine child herself, so I create my works of art of my own accord, urged and directed by my creator God. Antoni Gaudi is an almost mystical role model for me. He combines piety with an almost inexhaustible supply of imagination, of magic and wizardry.”

Kalchie’s artistic work expands into the visionary. She sees her painting as a dialogue with the whole cosmos. She recognizes only one Master as supreme authority and guide: none other than God Himself. When she takes up the brush, God directs her hands. The colors come alive, they communicate with each other, they flow together, they unite and finally culminate in a work of art imbued with divine energy and magic.
The artist lets herself be carried away – by her imagination, her visions and her appearances – far beyond everyday reality. A mouth suddenly forms into a kiss, a symbol of love, a reminder of her husband, who died young. People grow wings like swallows and soar into the sky. Glasses turn into chalices and, like the Holy Grail, symbolize eternal life. Hands rise in prayer and blue flames erupt from their fingertips. Roses, lilies and lotus flowers open and bring forth symbols of paradise.

Kalchie deliberately avoids frames for her paintings, knowing full well that her art does not fit into any frame. It is open to diverse interpretations and approaches. In the current art scene, not only in Switzerland but worldwide, she is an exception. She belongs to no school, no fashion, no direction. She is, she smiles herself, “a plant of her own, whose roots grow rampant in the bottomless”. Perhaps only future generations will be able to grasp the significance of their mysterious oeuvre.
Pashmin Art has been doing a series of international promotion for Kalchie. Her works are now in an exhibition in Hong Art Museum (Chongqing). Two grand projects are planned for 2023 in China: Archive Art Museum (Beijing), and Beijing Art Fair. More museum projects are ahead in 2023 and 2024.

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