Joële (Nina Karasek)
Czech Republic, 1883 - 1952
Nina Karasek was born in the town of Kuttenberg. She studied art in Vienna and worked painting landscapes and general scenes. At the age of 44, she was copying a work by Rembrandt in an Italian museum when she felt a presence guiding her hand. After this sudden onset of psychic ability she started drawing in new ways under the guidance of old mas- ters: Rembrandt, Durer, Rafael, Goya and Leonardo. Some of her drawings were signed by spirits and Albrecht Durer’s celebrated monogram also appeared. Following these contacts her work encompassed a wider range of languages and iconography: ethereal figures and scenes, invisible energy and vibrations, allegorical gardens with women in spiritual communion, hieroglyphics, esoteric signs and symbols, frenzied sketches and beautiful abstract compositions. She often signed her pieces “Joële”, her esoteric name. She lived and worked alone. She sometimes wrote biographical notes on the reverse of her sketches describing the deprivations of live during wartime. Her output is extraordinary, fascinating and mysterious. She deployed a unique mediumistic cosmology and mythology. Nina captured and related her cosmic experiences travelling in time and space. She died in her seventieth year in squalid conditions on the outskirts of Vienna.