Joseph Raffael
American, b. 1933
New Cycle, 2009–10
Watercolor on paper
73 1/2 x 89 x inches
Courtesy of Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, NY

Moving Toward the Light

June 18, 2016 - September 18, 2016

Graphics Gallery

Known for his monumental paintings celebrating flora and fauna, Joseph Raffael’s work in Moving toward the Light takes the viewer deeper and deeper into the mysteries of nature. Raffael captures the wonders that surround him at his home and garden in France, transforming what he sees into a heightened vision in watercolor. His large-scale works typically depict flowers, water, and fish swimming in ornamental ponds but Raffael asserts, “I don’t paint flowers; I paint energy.”

Growing up in Brooklyn, he helped his mother with the fruits, vegetables, and flowers in her garden, where he came to regard the changing of seasons as a form of magic: “Seeing blossoms come alive is the same as watching a painting come forth out of the white space of a page or a canvas. The garden is another example of how one begins with nothing but seeds and the brown-colored space of the earth from which, little by little, the garden emerges.” In Moving Toward the Light, Raffael’s watercolors invite the viewer into moments of discovery, though a contemplation of nature and harmony.

From the Exhibition

  • Joseph Raffael, American, b. 1933, Crescendo, 2013, Watercolor on paper, 53 1/2 x 75 1/2 inches. Courtesy of Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, NY

  • Joseph Raffael, American, b. 1933, Inauguration, 2009, Watercolor on paper, 60 x 87 inches. Courtesy of Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, NY

  • Joseph Raffael, American, b. 1933, Orchids Dream, 2013, watercolor on paper, 55 x 78 inches. Courtesy of Nancy Hoffman Gallery, New York, NY