Pictures at an Exhibition
It is a sunny day in February, so it seems a good moment to write to you about my solo-exhibitions of last year.
These took quite a bit of preparatory work. Flyers, adverts, posters and last but not least, a lot of framing and then hanging them. Robert did all of that for the first show, and the gallery owners handled this for the second exhibition, which was especially kind of them.
My ‘big event’ took place in the Wasserschloss Schelenburg, which is a medieval castle surrounded by a moat. This impressive pile of stone is located actually quite near to where we live. It is the family seat of old nobility and still in family ownership since more than 900 years.
It features a courtyard, and an approximately 900 year old fortified main structure. Rather unusual is its exterior in so-called Weser Renaissance style, which is how much of the castle was rebuilt after parts of it had burnt down in 1490.
In the very old part of the castle is a recently renovated Rittersaal (Knight’s Hall) and its walls were, for three weeks in early Spring, the home of my paintings!
The mayor of Bissendorf was kind enough to give the opening speech, (and he even seemed to like my paintings), and friends, family and fans arrived from the Netherlands and from around the wider area. The press wrote a few kind words, and the Sekt we served (from Robert’s favourite winemaker, Zimmermann in Guldental) made everybody feel happy.
During the course of the three weeks, I sold both cards of my paintings, as a couple of paintings themselves.
Among the visitors to my exhibition of paintings were Bright and Hinrich, gallery owners from Osnabrück, and they were suitably impressed by my work so that they offered to host a solo-exhibition of my paintings in their gallery later in the year. That, however, is for another letter.
Initially, Robert suggested to call my show at the Schelenburg “Pictures at an Exhibition”. He remembered this title from a 1971 LP Album by Emerson Lake & Palmer.
When I later looked it up, I noticed that the alternative version of the record sleeve was a photograph of a series of picture frames, with the centre frame being called “The Old Castle.” How very appropriate!
Anyway, as I may have told you before, when I started paiting in earnest around 2008, my aim was to organise an exhibition of all my paintings by the time I was 65.
I did not quite make it, although at 66 is not all that bad, either, I suppose. But as the reason for the exhibition was to show what I had been doing since moving back to the Continent, we decided that Rétrospective was a better name. So that’s what we went for. And to make up for the loss of the original title, the earlier option has now become the title of this letter to you.