Saturday, 25 June 2016

Matthias Kanter / Giovanni Bellini

Giovanni Bellini
Christ Crowned with Thorns
oil on wood
103 x 64 cm
Nationalmuseum Stockholm

Giovanni Bellini's meaning to me grows in such a slow and imperceptible way that I am surprised at every (re)encounter with his work.
Being teacher, sponsor and probably the most influential interface of Venetian painting, John Ruskin and later Theodor Hetzer consider him the most important Italian painter, and "freezing by enthusiasm" always applies to me too.
Since I like to believe my own eyes, I would not have needed art historical safeguarding.
I love the "Venetians" and  Pietro Longhi, as well as Morandi and Howard Hodgkin for their faith that you can transmit concrete contents with color.
To my knowledge Giovanni Bellini was the first to communicate this idea also as a teacher.
I don't really read his "Dead Christ" in its extremely reduced palette as a depiction. His understanding of the subject leads to an "experience area". A sheer presence of the dead being. Formally he is closer to Robert Ryman than to his contemporaries. He abandons the idea of ​​representative painting in favour of painting the presence of a sensual experience area. The old Titian formally follows this idea with his own unique temperament, and this is just as evident in the late Morandi. I encountered the Stockholm picture for the first time only recently. How intensively this encounter pursued me, I really felt when this experience without cause wanted to be shaped in the painting process.
Matthias Kanter, 2016

Matthias Kanter (DE)
Christo Motto zu G. Bellini
acrylic on canvas
100 x 80 cm

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Caroline Walker / Edouard Manet

Edouard Manet
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère
oil on canvas
96 x 130 cm

I can’t remember when I first saw ‘A Bar at the Folies Bergere’ by Edouard Manet but it’s the painting that always comes to mind when I think of the things that make me most excited about looking at paintings and making them myself. Manet’s work in general, and this painting in particular does so many things at once. It tells us about the illusionistic space of painting and its own materiality, but also about the world beyond the picture place, making a social comment on the time in which it was made. The positioning of the figures and their reflections make it a spatial conundrum that can never be solved, yet its language of realism makes it utterly believable as a moment in time; a universally recognisable exchange between two people.

The paintings I love looking at the most are both an oblique mirror on the world we live in, and something much more subjective and personal. It’s that space between the familiar and the unknowable that makes me come back to this painting again and again and what keeps me painting.

Caroline Walker, 2016

Caroline Walker
Indoor Outdoor
oil on linen
200 x 160 cm

Caroline Walker
A Woman at Her Mirror
oil on board
55 x 45 cm

Caroline Walker (UK)
oil on linen
168 x 126 cm