About the Artist
Nicolette Jelen is best known for her aquatint and mezzotint techniques that she pioneered in the early 80s, landscape images, and her iconic palm motifs. The emblematic image of this tropical tree appears and reappears throughout Jelen’s body-of-work in various diverse mediums, such as painted paper and glass. She superimposes delicate branches and leaves on top of her industrial surfaces and boxes, inviting our eyes to follow the passage of light and meaning beneath the surface of her art.
Jelen's meticulous glass, mirror, and paper works result in immersive depth and varied perspective, showcasing her multifaceted background and the places she has called home over the years. The ornate patterning on her diverse materials are reflective of her Hungarian heritage and the shared cultural backgrounds of North Africa, France, and the tranquil landscapes of Sag Harbor, NY.
“Producing art is much like conversing with materials. Materials have a tendency to go against you, so the way to win the fight is to compromise. Your collaboration with the process becomes something that surprises you as well.”
Jelen is a crafter of substance and process, be it printmaking, glass cutting, soldering, or mirroring. The challenge of her craft is a constant preoccupation in her work as she commands and transforms raw materials into the desired artifact. The effects are unexpected, admirable, wholly out of this world - yet she would simply describe the process as a ‘conversation.’
“With each new type of art, I took up one more passion and created the next piece. At any given time, I was creating completely new art forms. Apart from being an artisan, I had always seen myself as a ‘jane-of-all-trades’, a handywoman, an aficionado for new technology, even a plumber! I loved trying new crafts, developing further, and seeing how far I could go.”
What may unexpectedly develop from these experiences, Jelen says, leaves her in these spellbound, elevated moods. Follow her on social media to explore her latest creative pursuits.
Born and raised in Morocco, Nicolette received several degrees at the Sorbonne in Paris, and completed further studies in New York at the Art Students League and at Pratt Graphic Center while working at the Printmaking Workshop. She currently has a studio and press in Sag Harbor.
Nicolette’s work has been published and distributed in the U.S. and Internationally by John Szoke, Hugh McKay, Vincent Fitzgerald, Ronbie Editions, Progressive Editions and Atlantic Art. Recently, Nicolette has been exhibiting at selected fairs in the U.S., from California to New York, where she has won a number of awards. She is currently represented by William Holman Gallery NY.
MA Sorbonne – University of Paris, Sorbonne
Pratt Graphics Center, New York
Art Students League of New York
The Department of State
The Library of Congress
The Toledo Museum
The Children’s Museum of Minnesota