A self-taught artist, Muriel Napoli began painting at the age of eighteen, trying to reproduce the works of the American painter and engraver Edward Hopper. She later put her efforts into studying still life and seascapes before finally making a resolute turn to the abstract.
Muriel is influenced by the works of painters like Jean Miotte, Caspar David Friedrich and Le Caravage, due to their “creative power” and the play on clarity and obscurity, and draws her energy from the natural world.
Nature is her favourite source of inspiration and is strongly represented in her canvases through its transformations – excavation, erosion, sedimentation – and its numerous atmospheric evolutions – eruptions, evaporation and fusion. By means of ink, pigments, acrylics and charcoal the artist tries to depict the worlds of vegetation and minerals and their many natural manifestations.
Her paintings do not represent nature itself but instead present an image of it – like a fragment unconsciously revealed –, of its capacity to eternally renew itself without needing any human effort. Intentionally sombre and majorly monochrome her works seem to tend towards the refinement of the subject, removing colour, for example, to “eliminate what appears [to her] to be superfluous or too directly attractive. By leaning towards asceticism [she tries] to gain power and depth.” The artist’s pictorial practice is instinctive and spontaneous, intentionally turning towards movement. The instability of the universe is drawn there, the “body” appearing to be in the process of moving, of transforming; time seems to be suspended.
By not giving clues as to how to interpret the paintings, the artist hopes to preserve the intimacy of the relationship of painting and viewer, so that they appreciate the works according to their own feelings.