Amsterdam, Art in Amsterdam, Classical Music, Concert, Cora Moret artists, Dutch Watercolor Artists' Society, education, Hampsong Foundation, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/19/books/review-schuberts-winter-journey, Ian Bostridge Singer, Jutta Metzger artist, Lecture by Ian Bostridge, Lieder, music, Music education, Oxford University England, Schubert's Winterreise, Sculpture, The Netherlands, Video, Wendelien Schönfeld artist, Winter Journey by Franz Schubert
With the winter season and its shorter daylight hours, comes the need for more coziness or phrased differently intimacy. This small gallery’s Center City location lends itself exactly for this purpose and what could be more fitting than a tribute to Jutta Metzger, who coming from Germany after the Second World War, courageously inserted herself into the local art scene. Ultimately, she ended up teaching at the Art Academy for decades, and although she is in her lovely mid eighties she is still painting either on location in the French surroundings known to her or back in her studio in Holland. Her works on display reflect her interest in her immediate surroundings and friends or acquaintances and the rural scenes from France have an immediate recognition factor through their apparent coloration and light. The quiet restful evening in the garden and the barn doors make us feel at home at once.
On the occasion of this exhibition she invited one of her many former students and now also a close friend, Cora Moret from Rotterdam, to share her works with a new and larger audience.
Intimacy is shown in the face of the thinker on the couch with his cats. A wooden sculpture by Wendelien Schofield who we have covered as well in an earlier post on an exhibition held at the prestigious Petit Gallery also in Amsterdam.
Contemplation, we feel looking at this commissioned sculpture of a Doctor, even the wooden carved base gives the profession away but not until you walk around him and look at the back you see the piece that is not carved in his hand and my guess is, that he represents a Dermatologist!
The works all seem to relate to every day life somehow and usually artists select what they like best of their own work and that is their privilege of course. Wendelien’s passion relate to horses as well and it shows up in the fabulous details in her work on display as well as in her woodcuts (not on display here.)
The men fishing shown below by Jutta Metzger is one of the favorites. It echoes a hint of Cezannesque coloring but also it reminds me of Matisse with his loose style of painting.
A small gallery is conducive to talking with the artists and even more so with other visitors and learning a thing or two on occasion. Talking with Cora Moret who is very active in the Rotterdam Art scene, where she helped to create Arte Concordia, a sculpture event in 2014, I learned that the larger paintings in the Gallery relate to a group of fourteen depicting the Winter Journey songs by Franz Schubert. Ian Bostridge, whose book on the Winter Journey culminated in a lecture at Oxford University as a visiting Humanitas Professor discusses this musical canon of the Western Cultural experience in depth and it is worth listening to the entire lecture.
These “lieder” or songs evoke a metaphor of Life’s Journey as we all undertake it, and looking at Moret’s delicate palette interpreting her personal journey (she started out studying philosophy) like the crows below:
or the Lindenbaum painted while on a sabbatical in the Eastern part of the Netherlands. The Lindenbaum (Linden tree) even though it hangs here in a somewhat awkward position is her strongest painting in the show, in my opinion.
Indeed Winter is here and a mild one at that in Amsterdam, but if you are sitting near an open fire with the log burning and crackling, you can listen to Ian Bostridge in a stellar performance below. The Hampsong Foundation has created a pdf with the English texts of the German Lieder, access here.