From July 12 to October 11, 2020 iMuseum Slager houses the exhibition "BACK IN THE MUSEUM!" by Fred Schley. The title refers to Corona, which closed museums for a long time, and to previous exhibitions by Fred Schley in Museum Slager . In 2008 and 2013 he had solo exhibitions here and his work was also shown in the exhibition “Royal Welsh Art” in 2019.
On Sunday October 4, Fred Schley gives a guided tour every half hour Museum Slager to his exhibition BACK IN THE MUSEUM! Fred Schley provides information about the new landscapes and portraits that he painted especially for this exhibition. The first tour starts at 13.30:XNUMX PM.
Fred Schley's third solo exhibition contains many new works. And especially noticeable: Dutch landscapes! Fred Schley: “I have never painted Dutch landscapes before. I always went abroad and looked for landscapes that were not influenced by people. In England and Scotland you will find many places that are very pure in themselves. I used my painting skills and paintings to go even further and find pure beauty. ”
The turning point came when Fred Schley traveled to Norway a few years ago in search of even more pure nature. To his disappointment, he discovered in the Lofoten -- and Farö Islands that human influence can also be seen there. “Trees were planted. Campers with Italian tourists drove on the roads.
It was not as pure as I had hoped. Yes: there was a phenomenal landscape, but it was also a disillusion. Then I realized: the human influence is everywhere, even the skies, the clouds, the climate are affected. And I thought: maybe I should look upon it differently and try to understand the Dutch landscape. ”
And so his trips in the Netherlands started. “I walked through the fields surrounding Den Bosch, started taking pictures and suddenly accepted: that's how it is. And I thought: when I look with these eyes, a new, different world opens up. I went to the Iron Man, where I used to come often, but also looked down upon. What does the Iron Man represent when you've been in Scotland? I have always seen it, but never found it interesting to paint. Because people had been at it, because it was so raked. I was looking for the rough, the pure, the wild. That nature went its own way. That was not here. Everything was contained here. Although that is of course not entirely true, because at the edges of a river or canal you can also see the purity and ruggedness. In the verges of roads, we are increasingly allowing nature to take its course. But still, it was a turnabout for me. ”
He has since made many new paintings in and of the Iron Man, the Wamberg, the area near the Maximakanaal and between Rosmalen and Berlicum. He also followed the seasons, toured in the Netherlands, photographed and painted mills and flower bulb fields in North Holland. “My eyes opened to the Dutch landscape, because suddenly I could accept what it was like. I tried not to see anything in it. I just looked at what it was. And I saw that it was very beautiful. A landscape that you don't see in other countries. Very special and very specific. ”
“Now I find the human interventions in the landscape beautiful and appropriate for the Netherlands. The Netherlands is simplicity, clarity. Vermeer and Mondrian are the highlights for me. The pure Dutch. Brightness. Beauty in two ways: literally clean, not dirty, and also beauty that has to do with clarity. The Dutch are open, transparent and direct, which is also reflected in the landscape. The Birchgrove I painted, at a lake near the Maximakanaal. I saw and painted it in early spring, just before the leaves came out. It is a beautiful image. Also very abstract. You can see the rhythm of the trees. Bright. Clear. Orderly. Unlike the UK. It winds in all directions. And I don't choose one or the other, I now embrace both. ”
In addition to landscapes, the exhibition features portraits of Fred Schley. Older and new. The portraits fall into three categories: portraits that he makes by commission, portraits that he makes of friends and others close to him and self-portraits. The portraits also show a development. The freedom he feels differs in painting. Fred Schley: “I am bound by an assignment and I feel very responsible. When I make a portrait under my own management, I always feel “yes but”, even if people say that I have a free hand. When I paint myself, I paint what I see, I dare to paint what I see. That is very pleasant and also gives a different feeling. Because imagine: I paint my nose. When I paint your nose I can't feel it, just see it. But if I paint my own nose, I can feel it. Very scary and direct. It also gives a self-portrait something extra! ”
Fred Schley grew up as an only child in 's-Hertogenbosch. He painted from an early age on. Traveling and exploring too. His father was an English teacher at HBS and brought him to England and introduced him to English culture. At the age of 15 they went to Scotland and Fred was allowed to decide where to go. "Here you have the map, find out!" His mother was from an artistic family. Her father was a painter and his mother also painted She was passionate and made very original things. Fred's own drive took him to the Academy of Visual Education in Tilburg, where he graduated in 1983. The academy was a combination of teacher training and art training with a very stimulating atmosphere. René Daniëls, Marlene Dumas, Jan Dibbets were some of the people / big names. An important breeding ground for the widely and internationally appreciated craftsmanship of Fred Schley as a painter of contemporary realism.
Fred Schley bears Museum Slager a warm heart. “It is very nice, in the middle of the city, near my birthplace. The Slager family has produced some damn good painters. Piet Slager , but also the others and also the in-laws. It is very special that this family, a circle of a few people, has produced so much quality. ” He already visited the building when the library was housed there. “I first came there in my primary school days when I borrowed my first book. I got my first books in the room where the piano is now. After the art academy I lived and worked for a while in Holten, East- Netherlands. When I came back I quickly visited the museum as it is now. I am very fond of that. That authenticity. The atmosphere. Through my exhibitions I got to know the family and paintings better. It inspires me. I now paint Dutch landscapes, Den Bosch and surroundings. The relationship is growing! ”
Want to read more about Fred Schley? Then take a look at the blog of Rob Smolders.