By Richard Horstman
Having opened last night (7th December) and continuing through to the 7th January 2014, Swiss born artist Paul Husner presents his latest body of work “The Magic of Truth” in an exhibition of paintings at Ubud’s Agung Rai Museum of Art.
While often compared to the renowned Dutch artist Arie Smit, whose colorful landscapes and teaching style was to shape the ‘Young Artists of Penestanan’ collective style of painting that originated in the 1960’s, color comparisons may be made yet compositions vary greatly.
Smit, unlike Husner, rarely challenged our senses with complex compositions that defy imagination. Husner, whose Utopian Balinese landscapes and studies of local people, on the other hand, deliver powerful expressionist color along with complex compositions.
If we venture back to Husner’s June 2011 exhibition, also at ARMA, ‘Enlightening Bali Light’, the artist tended to work in a reduced palette of ochres and reds, while in his recent works the he has experimented more with color and composition.
In “ARMA Resort with Gung Agung”, painted in 2013, Husner deliberately divides the canvas diagonally and juxtaposes two contrasting aspects – close-up activity, movement and “detail” against the backdrop of the serene and omnipotent presence of the sacred volcanic peak of Gunung Agung.
Born in 1942 in Basel, Switzerland, Husner studied graphic art and painting at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie (1965-67) and painting at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (1967-69) in Amsterdam. He is an award-winning artist, and from 1980-88 he was Professor at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten where he taught drawing and painting.
Since 1997 Husner has been dividing his time between Amsterdam and Ubud, Bali. In this exhibition observers may take a glimpse into the extraordinary creativity of a painter who bends reality with imagination to reproduce powerful and unique images of Bali. For lovers of fine art and Bali, this exhibition is a must see.
Paul Husner – “The Magic of Truth”
Continues until 7th January 2014
Agung Rai Museum of Art
Jalan Raya Pengosekan, Ubud, Bali
Tel: +62 361 976659