I liked Annette Holzwarth since the moment I met her at a private view on Mayday this year. Then I googled her and I liked her even more. Despite that the ignorasimuss that is me is not generally into abstract art. I am too much into storytelling and narrative to be at ease with abstraction. Yet, there was it, her art striking and monumental on the tiny screen on my dumphone.
"I want to meet you for an interview, said I who had never ever previously wanted to here how artists speak of their own art - which got me into more than a trouble or two with close friends and relatives of artists - as I have always been into the description of my perceptions rather than into quoting on artists intentions.
Yet what I saw on my screen generated in me the desire to see and know more... the sort of hunger one gets after watching the first episode of a good Scandi crime series. "May I meet you for an interview?"
"You like my vork?" - Annette is German - "You want to see more of my vork? She scrutinises my face "Come to my studio".
God, I miss, without even realising, how much do I miss, the straightforward European talking that goes like: You like my work? Lucky. Come and see it.
And so I did and I never stopped there after... going to Annette, seeing her work, having a chat with her, having a drink and a nibble.... basically getting more and more addicted to her work and the world it represents. Which basically confronts me with the eternal question: What do we like: the art or the artist that stands behind it?
Honestly, preferably both. For I am the greatest advocate of Eric Gill and, for the matter, Boris Johnson, saying, quite a la Francais, that the personal life of an artist or an individual is none of my concern as long as I am exalted by the relief or the vaccination enrollment. Yet, it is so much better if you like the artist as much as the work. How much easier it is to be a fan of the timid and humble Renoire - with all his adoration and respect for women - than to a self-content and sufficient Sezan? Very. It is very and far much easier.
Hence, how much easier it is to perceive Annette's circle abstractions as a sort of Michelangelo's dome from a parallel reality where you perceive the woman herself as this colossal painter of a figure? Very. It's very and far too easy.
Annette Holzwarth, though, thinks of Tintoretto rather than of Michelangelo as of her patron painter. She says that she knows that a painting is finished only once she have seen the face of Jacopo Robusti in there.
Unable to judge for this statement myself - incapacity which, I admit, is seldom - I reach out for wiki's entry about Tintoretto and read "... the unprecedented boldness of his brushwork. For his phenomenal energy in painting he was called Il Furioso ". And yes, this is what I would easily say about Annette: Bold strokes painting bright skies with a fury and yet the gentle touch of the divine finger is also present. Hence.... Michelangelo.
Because the mind is not conditioned to work with the void it deals with it referring to previously acquired knowledge using shablons or patterns. And so do I; facing the abstraction my maddened brain refers me to Michael Parker and his Ledas, swans and tigers majestically swimming in endless heavens. And here again, this is exactly what Annette Holzwarth's work is ...but in a parallel reality.
Last but not least, Annette is also a parallel reality Canaletto. With her studio overlooking the Themes, her work carries and expresses all the Venitian Lagoons of Canaletto and glorious auroras of Turner.
As all good artists Annette is also an excellent cook. Fancy a supper overlooking the Themes, surrounded by glorious sunsets and sunrises all at the same time while chewing on excellent porcini risotto in a fantastic company talking about Venecian painters and their concubines? I bet you do.
14 June 2021