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Fred Holle - The Painter and The Teacher, The Blessed

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The genius's works are distinguished by the quality that even when they display the meanness, even when they prove and make us feel the inevitable misery of life with obviousness, even when they express the most horrible despair- nevertheless they serve always as a comfort, light up again the enthusiasm, and let they depict nothing else than death, they return the death itself the life that has seemed to be faded for a moment.

Giacomo Leopardi

 

“The Blessed” is a painting by Fred Holle – the painter and Fine Art teacher who himself has been blessed with a great talent. Regarding the painter's gift as a blessing or a curse in his life, Max Beckman expressed his doubts in his journals and letters. He was not sure if the great talent is a blessing or a curse because as a figurative artist during the times of The World War I and The World War II he was a chronicler of endless tribulations and outrages. As an expressionist painter , he felt and expressed on his canvases any tragedy deeply as a personal experience of his own. And that is a difficult task and a painful experience. The same difficult task - to be “ a chronicler of our Species” (Fred Holle's own words) - has been completing by the great contemporary American painter Fred Holle . Being figurative expressionists and chroniclers of their Species, and being great Fine Art teachers, Fred Holle and Max Beckman are kindred spirits. Yet Fred Holle has not any doubts that it is “ a privilege to be an artist” and he hopes that “he has not betrayed his responsibilities regarding that Blessing”.

 

In his young years, Fred Holle was an abstract expressionist like the most American artists of that time. His paintings from this period reveal the strong emotions of his young sensitive soul and are creations of his intuition which the artist writes about: “I have the greatest faith in intuition and the truth it generates.” The truth that the painter's intuition generates is a poetic symbolic depiction of the mystery of life, youth, and beauty in paintings or black-white woodcuts , the most of them untitled (as there is no title for mystery).

 

These beautiful works have strong emotional effects on the viewers in the same way as the music evokes strong emotions in sensitive people. These are spontaneous paintings or graphics emerged in the expressionistic manner of action drawing or painting. They are expressions of the young painter's love for life and art. These beautiful abstract symbolic images completed in impasto technique were suddenly replaced by grotesque figurative paintings accomplished in the traditional painting technique of fine sable brushes. Why? The main fine art stream was the one of abstract expressionism. The juries and the audience were prepared to expect and welcome abstract, not figurative art. The painter himself writes that there was the serendipity that led to the birth of “The Gnomegame” and the use of the

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