Gerda Claassen – "Unusual Conversations"

by Cindy Paul

Gerda Claassen‘s artistic endeavors often feature the same recurring theme. It’s a moody time of day, with dramatic, somewhat somber lighting. We’re inside a room, and there is nothing but the room and its furniture to give us a clue of this moment frozen in time. Sometimes, as with "Days of Wine and Roses," the title will shed a little light about how to read the atmosphere. Regardless of our interpretation, positive or negative, we are witnesses to a scene that feels, somehow, evocative.

"Unusual Conversations" is an excellent case in point. It shows a corner of a room somewhat crowded with bulky furniture. A fire blazes in the fireplace at the back of the canvas, and it’s still somewhat light outside the window behind a comfy blue armchair. In the foreground are two wine glasses on low tables, but there are no inhabitants to be seen.

"That realism wasn’t sufficient for me struck me at a time when I started painting more from the heart than from the head." Those are Gerda’s own words, yet these interiors, while not photo-realistic, are nevertheless not abstracts. One feels, in fact, that one could easily slip into such rooms and make oneself at home.

A few true modern abstracts grace Gerda’s collection online. "As the Crow Flies" is an attractive, free-wheeling canvas, very large and delivered in a splashy style. Plenty of unrecognizable shapes all but obscure some figures that might very well be references to ancient painted figures on the wall of a cave.