Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 27, No. 3. 1964.
Best Paintings Lack Publicity
Best Paintings Lack Publicity
During the last fortnight in Wellington there have been three very interesting Exhibitions of paintings. Two by female artists were showing at the Centre Gallery and were not unfortunately, very well publicised. The third, at Kirk-caldie & Stains Exhibition Room received a lot of publicity and acclaim which it did not deserve.
The worst first, Cornel M. Von Berwald is showing an Exhibition of paintings which altogether constitute a glorious fruit-salad in sunset shades. The number of paintings, 39, does not improve viewing because the room is far too small, particularly for both portraits and Reubens (copies), and consequently the ultimate impression is one of chaos.
The subject matter includes New Zealand landscapes which are very attractively done in clear pastel colours, Lake Gunn, Mitre Peak and Mt. Cook being excellent examples, and undoubtedly the best of the collection. There are several rural scenes by the Danube and in the Black Forest area but these are for the most part very uninspiring. The portraits too lack a distinctive style, but worst of all are the Reubens copies (which the artist had gained special permission to paint).
Reubens' cherubs were voluptuous but their creamy skins some-how modified the impact of them. Von Berwald's cherubs are a hot pink Shade and look thoroughly uncomfortable.
Despite such harsh criticism, the display Is worth seeing.
At the Centre Gallery Louise Henderson and Fiances D. Ellis have shown exhibitions of abstract and semi-abstract work. Louise Henderson is a Parisian-born artist well-known among other things for her work in Australian and New Zealand art schools.
She has very limited range of subject matter but a particularly interesting form of interpretation. Her paintings are abstract and her subjects are aspects of Nature: Moon. Garden. Plant Form and Composition of Oil on Paper, each one sub-numbered.
The design is geometric, the texture of the paint is thick, the colours natural, that is, ochre, black, white, brown, with an occasional yellow, blue, and green mood.
The compositions are in red and blue exclusively and the oil on paper medium is not nearly so effective as the usual canvas.
There are both perpendicular and horizontal panels which create a feeling of movement in nature and would be Well suited to a modern decor.
Frances D. Ellis's Exhibition (still showing incidentally) includes oils, water-colours and lithographs.
Her semi-abstract oils of Italian scenes are really wonderful. She uses only shades of blue and green and the overall effect is one of cool depth and shade.
"Bridge Over Tiber," "Perugia," "San Spirito," and "Umbrian Hills" are all outstanding.
The water-colours, by comparison, are drab "poor-relations," still of the Italian scene but lacking any warmth and depth.
The several lithographs of the Ponte Vecchio are worth comparing for stages of development. There is one very interesting group in lithograph, unfortunately not listed in the catalogue, composed of green and pink shades, unusual and effective.
Frequent trips to the Centre Gallery are interesting and rewarding as Exhibitions are changed regularly and there is always something new and unusual to see.