Joke Frima - contemporary Dutch realism
Paintings from the New Dutch Realism school, represented by Amsterdam's Galerie Mokum - Oudezijds Voorburgwal 334,
Joke Frima (b.1952) presents stunning images - adding strength to the growing contemporay genre of New Dutch Realism. There are wonderful studies of water lilies, details of flowers and fruits growing on plant stems, delicate still life studies and fragments of verdant natural landscapes. In keeping with the underlying symbolism of this genre, the works comment on the passage of natural life - still life is, in fact, never still.The three studies of water lilies depict different stages in the cycle of life.
'De Uitkijk' (Olieverf op doek, 2007) - Joke Frima
'De Uitkijk' (Olieverf op doek, 2007) shows fresh leaves on the surface of the water; strong, young buds are bursting into flower.
Tropische Waterlelie (Olieverf op doek, 2005) - Joke Frima
'Tropische Waterlelie' (Olieverf op doek, 2005) depicts, at the centre of the painting, a single strong white flower in full bloom. On the left, new buds emerge, and on the right the flower has lost its petals and is bowing down to return to the water.
L'Etang de Sardun (Olieverf op doek, 2002) - Joke Frima
'L'Etang de Sardun' (Olieverf op doek, 2002) describes the aftermath of the flowering season; the leaves are turning through yellow to brown and beginning to curl and die. This is not an impressionistic or perfectionistic view. We are not seeing the subject in bright sunshine; the day seems quite dull but the intensity of description is heightened, capturing the beauty of transition in nature.
The depiction of nature as ever changing - simultaneously living and dying - is a recurring theme in traditional Dutch Realism. An interesting example of this can be seen in a painting housed in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam - 'Festoon of Fruit and Flowers' by Jan Davidsz. De Heem (1606-1683).
The image shows a collection of brightly coloured fruits and flowers tied with a rich blue ribbon. The shiny film of juice on the fruit of the opened pomegranate and the drops of dew on the leaves denote freshness; but the lemon is beginning to discolour with age and a swarm of insects have already entered the picture.
Vogelnest (Olieverf op panel, 2005) - Joke Frima
In Frima's 'Vogelnest' (Olieverf op panel, 2005) a group of eggs form the central focal point of this dreamlike 'bird's eye view' of a parent returning to a nest. Again, we see the cycle of life depicted; discarded adult feathers surround a nest of unhatched eggs.
With the two paintings 'Osage Oranges'
Osage Oranges - Joke Frima
and 'Het Flesjes Defilé' (below), Frima has created extremely unusual images using repeated groupings within a still life context. In these images, seemingly identical, individual still life groupings are set in a row. The groupings of objects are similar, but slightly different. The viewer attempts to compare each grouping; noting the similarities and the differences. The codes and symbols remain enigmatic.
Het Flesjes Defilé - Joke Frima
This exhibition showcases an extremely interesting body of work which forms an integral part of the New Dutch Realist movement - a contemporary genre paying homage to the traditional Dutch Realist painters of the golden age.
Joke Frima is represented by the Mokum Gallery in Amstersdam.
Galerie Mokum Amsterdam - New Dutch Realism
Open: Wednesday through to Saturday from 12.00 to 17.00 and each first Sunday of the month 13.00 to 17.00 and by appointment.
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Galerie Mokum - New Dutch Realism