Cayman Marshall International Luxury & Lifestyle - Spring 2019

Page 18

INTO LUMINOUS CANVASES

rtist Ernestine Tahedl likes classical music so much, she’s named dozens of recent paintings after works by famous composers. “My love is intuitive; I don’t read music,” she says, looking smart in a tailored cheongsam jacket during an interview at her mid-century Modernist house in King City. Like composers, the prolific artist uses opus numbers to keep track of her works. “I started in 1980; I’m up to 3,580. My husband says I should stop,” she says with a laugh. Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde inspired six abstract paintings in 2014. “They’re very dark,” she says. They should be, given that the opera, especially the third-act prelude, offers Western music’s bleakest portrayal of despair. One of Bach’s favourite forms was the passacaglia, or variations above a repeating short, simple pattern of bass notes. Passacaglia (2010) abstractly evokes a mountainous landscape, with

By Lasker 18 David SPRING 2019 ■

Photo By: Peter Kainz

Austrian-born artist Ernestine Tahedl’s recent paintings have a luminosity and transparency that recall her earlier work in stained glass.

“mountain” as the bass pattern and variations as tall snowy peaks in the far distance, a shadowy massif in the middle distance, and closer still, set off with a veil of white clouds, a formidable rock face with brilliantly saturated, agitated brush strokes of twilight reds and purples. In its non-realistic way, Passacaglia evokes the grandiloquent depictions of nature associated with the early 19th-century American art movement known as the Hudson River School, exemplified by Albert Bierstadt’s Lower Yosemite Valley, where the play of clouds and sunlight against rugged topography assumes a transcendent, spiritual aspect.