Monday, 20 March 2017

Paintings you have never seen (1)

Paintings you have never seen (1)

You can see over 150 paintings on my website ( But hundreds of other works have never been seen online and may remain unseen forever in my archives. So while I still have the chance, I would like to share with you what is for me a rather poignant retrospective selection. I look back affectionately on some of these early or immature works that show my search for development during well over half a century. A few are still in my studio, but most are in private collections worldwide, so they may never be exhibited. These include oils and watercolours, not only of musical themes and snapshots of live kinetic painting in performance, but also landscapes, portraits, and paintings of dance. So here goes:

I met the young cellist Edith Neuman in The Hague in 1965 when she was playing briefly in the Collegium Musicum Judaicum. Shortly afterwards she started her career in the Concertgebouw Orchestra. I asked if I could paint her and she took me to her attic room in Amsterdam and played the Bach Suites for me, as I started on the 80 x 60 cm. oil painting (above). This lively impressionist painting was made by a young man who has obviously fallen in love with his subject. I was thirty-two, she was twenty-two. But I was married and fortunately she had other ideas. My only option was to make another painting, more thoughtful and well balanced. Already, in these works from 1965 and 1966, you can see my early interest in placing silhouetted shapes on a diagonal in space. After he opened my Gstaad Festival exhibition in 1971, Yehudi Menuhin stood for the longest time in front of No. 2, asking "But who is she?". Good question. She's a remarkable woman.

Twelve years later Edith became good friends with my second wife, Vivian King - depicted (below) with a new kind of freedom in watercolour. When my beloved Vivian tragically died, Edith bought her cello and is still playing it today, with much joy. What a world of emotion is encompassed in these three paintings!

Vivian King, watercolour 70 x 50 cm. (detail), approx. 1979

P.S. I wish I knew where Edith No. 1 is now. Paintings get passed on and you lose track. 


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