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Friday, September 27, 2013

#Troels #Brandt: A soft and subtle soul. By John von Daler


                The little island called Langeland nestles up to the southwest of Funen together with another island called Ærø on the southeast side. Together they form a kind of nutcracker pinching the bottom of Funen, the great island that has given Denmark Carl Nielsen, Hans Christian Andersen and a wealth of painters. Among these exceptional artists was Troels Brandt.

                Before I could speak Danish, back in the late sixties I would attend parties on Langeland. Troels Brandt would be there too, having taken the little ferry from Svendborg to Taasinge and crossed two other bridges, he would sit on the sidelines together with me and watch the other more talktative and active people.
                Troels was no difficult person to sit beside. He was a quiet man, a polite man. We said few words together, but I always felt a kind of undercurrent of exchanges between us, like the lapping water on the dark sand around Langeland, a little ripple in, a little undertow out again.
                The waters around Funen were important to his art. The painters from the island have always had to deal with an undercurrent of darkness, greens and grays and light browns, the subtle and subdued colors of a rain-washed landscape, rolling hills, and long narrow roads leading down to the inescapable sea.
                Troels Brandt seemed to be "at one" with his pictures, as if his way of being, of living, of talking, of seeing all coincided with his way of creating. He might just as easily have been in his own pictures as paint them.
                He would sometimes attend concerts I gave when my partner and I came close to Funen and I would always play a quiet little folk melody at some point and think, This one is for you, Troels. Thanks for your quiet colors!
                If you ever are in Denmark, remember to visit the Joannes Larsen Museum in Kerteminde. Sometimes they exhibit Troels' pictures - and some other very fine painters from Funen: http://www.johanneslarsenmuseet.dk

               
               

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