Traces of a Radical Expressionism: the case of Ellina Katsnelson


Ellina Katsnelson is a remarkable Israeli expressionist painter whose style is reminiscent of Egon Schiele in the use of intense and sensual forms, vibrant brushstrokes and evocative lines that characterised the earlier Austrian Expressionism. She was selected to exhibit at the London Biennale 2013 and at the Chianciano Biennale 2015, organised and hosted by the Chianciano Art Museum, in Italy. This important exhibition gathered 120 artists from 40 nations and well known figures such as the Strozzi Princess and international political rapresentatives, including established and emerging talents.

On impact, viewers are immediately attracted to the harsh and bold lines that elevate the figures to impressive characters of unknown worlds. Powerfully provocative shapes, distorted perspectives of remote realities and simplified but suggestive features are combined with the extreme sensuality and passion that transpires from Ellina’s canvases. 

Whether they be mysterious female figures, staring eyes or imperturbable mystical appearances, all the protagonists of these wonderful works are surrounded by an aura that slowly becomes a real presence on the canvas: a magical and timeless atmosphere that makes her creative talent more expressive and enthralling. 


Experimenting with nudes and captivating undefined figures, Katsnelson shows a perfect ability to convey a sense of creative urgency. 

ellina-katsnelson-artistThe viewer senses an unstoppable pulse that leads her to create works that do not fit into artistic categories. In fact, each artwork is an authentic mark of the passionate and creative instinct of the artist. Katsnelson’s soul totally pours into her brushwork, manifesting itself in luminous shades of paint, clashing colours and in dramatically eloquent figures that continually evoke powerful emotions.

This strong emphasis on line, juxtaposed with soft and exquisite shades demonstrates a sensitivity to colour that enlivens the dynamism of the canvases. Katsnelson is an incredibly eclectic artist, both in style and compositions depicted. Within the same artwork we can admire completely contrasting artistic approaches that create a hypnotising effect due to some areas of refined stylistic precision and others characterised by an intense abstract  virtuosity. This is Ellina’s intrinsic artistic ability: moving the viewer, making him feel the artist’s innermost passion.


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