Saturday, September 27, 2008

Madeline von Foerster

I just came across the work of Madeline von Foerster and I'm pretty spellbound by it. Obviously influenced by the old Flemish masters, she adds a touch of 18th/19th century occult weirdness and contemporary issues such as the eradication of species. She has a new show coming up in Berlin.
Here is a clip from an interview with her on her site:

In your early development as an artist, who/what inspired you?

Although as a child different things attracted me than do at the present, my aesthetic sensibility has actually been rather consistent. I have always appreciated things that looked old and slightly arcane. I loved the beauty inherent in mystery...I used to spend a lot of time looking for secret passages in the flat where I grew up! During my childhood, there were three artistic discoveries which had great influence: the Carravaggio painting of Christ being lowered into the tomb, which I saw in the fifth grade when the Vatican Collection toured this country; the Helga Pictures which I saw at the same museum two years later; and a tiny book of Hieronymous Bosch which some intuitive adult gave to me when I was about seven years old, which sits on my bookshelf to this day.

What about recent sources of inspirations?

I'm afraid that's difficult to narrow down! But here are a few of them: All the fifteenth century Flemish Masters, with van Eyck and Memling as particular favorites, but also David, Van der Weyden, Van der Goes, and several others. Bosch, Brueghel, Durer, and Grunewald. And all of the alchemical illustrators, whether engravers or manuscript illuminators. Most of them are unfortunately anonymous. I also have a passion for certain Surrealist artists: namely, Leonor Fini, Remedios Varos, Leonora Carrington, Hans Bellmer, and Ernst Fuchs.