After her Master’s Degree in Sociology (subsidiary subject History of Art, University of Amsterdam), Gezien van de Riet went to Bolivia, combining fieldwork with illustration. The wish to qualify seriously in free pictorial art drove her to the evening classes at the La Paz School of Fine Arts, where director Alberto Medina recognised and stimulated her talent. Her first exhibitions –and her first success– also took place in La Paz. A new hospital commissioned her a mural painting.
So she came back to Holland as a painter. She learned about distemper (Wackers Academy, Amsterdam) and an inspiring tutor was Diederik Kraaijpoel, painter, teacher, art theoretician and co-founder of the Groningen Classical Academy. She was editor of Palet art magazine for 10 years. Her work is shown in galleries, art fairs, and yearly in the Independant Realists Exhibition of Museum Møhlmann, an important Dutch platform for representational art; her works are part of the museum’s collection. In 2016 she became Associated Living Master of the Art Renewal Center (America).
The beauty of nature always mesmerises her. To capture that beauty requires long and close observation. In that process emerges a personal selection, brought about by artistic feeling. That kind of observation was already the earmark of the realist painters of the Dutch Golden Age. She felt related to them. ‘In life one finds all’ was a saying of those painters and it became her motto. One who paints the realistic way is fortunate to discover ever more of a world full of variation.
The painter may want to move objects or dim colors for harmony’s sake and personal feelings but these changes should never be conspicuous. Ivan Shishkin was a master in natural representation – that’s why he is one of her favorite painters. So are the American sublimes like Frederic Church. Invented representations about human life fascinate her as well; they convey a different kind of beauty, one that is more linked to human experiences and sensations. Craftsmanship is essential, but it is the artistic experience that steers the pencil and the brush, that defines color, light and dark. She paint with oil and distemper. She loves to draw, with pastel, pencil, or charcoal.
As an editor she wrote about realism, in monographs and magazines. She gave lectures about realism, concerning discussions in art history around the question: is naturalism lacking imagination? She started a blog focussing art history issues.
In 2014 and 2017 Gezien participated in TRAC2014 and saw the importance of an international movement reinforcing and enriching the contemporary classical art. So she informed several people in Holland. Tom Hageman was interested and went to TRAC2015 and accepted the challenge: TRAC2018!
During TRAC 2018 Gezien van de Riet will give a keynote lecture together with Ernst van der Wetering on Wednesday May 2nd.