Opening night

December 11th, 2008

The other evening I attended the opening night of an exhibition of 25 oils which I have painted in the last three years.

Openings have their pros and cons. One valuable pro is that they have taught me that is it possible for a painter to form a realistic idea of his works only when they have been taken from the studio, framed and hung on the stark white walls of a distant gallery.

The moment I first set foot in the gallery (an hour or so before the public started to trickle in) it was apparent which were the most autonomous pictorial statements able to fend for themselves deprived of my personal expectations, affections and prejudices.

Surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly, the public generally concurs with my view.

Above, I believe, is one of the mores successful works (Girl Writing an Email, 2008). Click on the image for an enlargement.

One Response to “Opening night”

  1. ARech

    A truly magnificent exhibition! The paintings emanate a silent but vibrant magic only known yet from Vermeer’s masterworks. Everyone who views these ‘modern Vermeers’ (here the portraits in particular) with only a bit of conscience is instantly caught by that calm self-confidence and absorbtion in the current activity of the depicted girls or boys (letter- or email-writing, reading in a magazine, watching TV, even ironing) we adore so much in Vermeer’s own figures.

    The various Seattle-views breathe a similar mood of silence, as if the world would stop for a moment and no sound would disturb this moment. Such moments occur, unfortunately seldom enough in our rushing world, full of constant noise. It is all the more most precious to find them caught in these paintings.

    Naturally, as usual with any exhibition, the right composition of display and lighting adds essentially to that effect intended for the respective paintings. Here it is done with such care, finest artistic sensitivy and experience for these intentions which leaves no wish open. Only once I couldn’t fully agree with the placement: as the tiny but so serene ‘Girl Reading a Magazine’ (in yellow) hangs alone on a wide wall, looking a bit lost and lonely there. Maybe no suitable ‘partner’ was to be found…

    But right: These paintings do no longer need any assistance. Indeed they fend for themselves, and they deserve our unreserved attention and estimation.

    AR

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