MARTIN C. HERBST
15.11.2015 – 31.03.2016
Showing in Amsterdam´s Wanrooij Gallery, situated right next to the famous Rijksmuseum with all its masterpieces, is like coming home to old friends.
Like many young painters – and especially those with a keen interest in portrait painting – I literally grew up with my heroes Rembrandt and Vermeer. Austria’s most important museum for Old Masters, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, shows two brilliant self-portraits by Rembrandt and Vermeer’s “The Art of Painting” as well as a large number of excellent works by Rubens and van Dyck.
At the age of 17 I had my first chance to come to Amsterdam and visit the Rijksmuseum. By that time, however, I had already been studying the beloved Dutch and Flemish Masters in depth for almost four years.
Not only the Dutch title of my show “Martijn van Wenen” (“Martin from Vienna”) is an homage to Rembrandt van Rijn or Vermeer van Delft and to Netherlandish painting in general: the whole collection of works I am showing in Amsterdam is likewise a tribute.
“Martijn van Wenen” demonstrates my close ties to the rich history of Dutch and Flemish painting, and also how I put these into practice. Some of the works are inspired directly by a specific historic painting. Here it is easy for everyone to see and understand the reference at once, and to enjoy the reinterpretation. And yet the majority of the works in this show represent more an elaborate re-evaluation of art historical themes and theories. Thus it is crucial to provide at least a sketchy explanation of the connections and ideas behind them.