A Soft Glow
A soft hazy light lingers over the paintings by Torsten Erasmie at Galerie Holm in Malmö (until March 18, 2007). Tranquil sceneries of boats, harbours and sun-drenched landscapes succeed each other: Tuscany, Brittany and the view from the studio in Vik.
The motifs are beautiful on the verge of the trite, but Erasmie supply steers clear of the pastoral pastiche. Perhaps it is indeed the light that does it; a soft apricot shimmer filters unimportant details and gently rounds off the silhouettes. The compositions are serene, most often self-explanatory.
The artist stands firm in the tradition of open-air painting dating from the second half of the nineteenth century and readily paints outdoors directly before the motif. One could of course object that not much has changed since the Swedish artists colony in the 1880’s portrayed the peaceful, idyllic atmosphere of Grez-Sur-Loings. But Erasmie has developed a pictorial language of his own within the genre, at times severely simplified, at times with classical beauty.
Here and there the unexpected breaks through, as in a couple of boldly designed studies of the skyscrapers of New York. Rather than the vibrant pulse of the big city, the paintings emit a comfortable afternoon tranquillity. These paintings, together with the boats in Brittany’s nightlight, are among the more powerful of the exhibit.
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