The University Museum and Art Gallery (UMAG) of the University of Hong Kong, is thrilled to present Alberto Reguera: Homage to Aert van der Neer. Dazzled by the twilight of 17th-century painter Aert van der Neer’s (1603–77) Moonlit Landscape with a Road beside a Canal (1645–50), contemporary Spanish artist Alberto Reguera created a new series of paintings as an homage to the celebrated artist of the Dutch Golden Age. Each of Reguera’s paintings display an in-depth study of the representation of light and sky in the European tradition of painting, while engaging in a dialogue with Van der Neer’s Moonlit Landscape.
Aert van der Neer’s works exemplify the naturalistic renderings that are now recognised as one of the hallmarks of Dutch painting. Dating to the most productive period of the artist’s life (1640–60), aspects of this scene are typical for Van der Neer and his contemporaries, while the artist’s specific manipulation of twilight seeping through the clouds sets the work apart from other painters of his era.
The sensitive depiction of light in the night sky most inspired Alberto Reguera, in part because of the similarities to his own work. These new works examine and connect directly to Van der Neer’s masterpiece, and the important painterly achievements of the Dutch painter’s generation. While the Golden Age landscapes have been widely discussed and imitated over the past three centuries, it is Reguera’s particularly intense form of study and thoughtful application of style that has culminated in these highly personal and accomplished works. Reguera’s own depictions of the sky—both day and night—inevitably differ from the Dutch master, as Reguera incorporates his own sensibilities and experiences from throughout his internationally renowned career.
The exhibition and accompanying publication are the second collaboration between the UMAG and Alberto Reguera. While the first exhibition Blue Expansive Landscape (2015) was notable for the display of the painter’s two- and three-dimensional works, and his innovative ways of painting beyond the canvas, Homage to Aert van der Neer is a similarly complex endeavour that has been achieved through a successful partnership with UMAG, the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza and the artist. We thank the director and colleagues from the Museo Nacional and Alberto Reguera for this international cooperation, and express our gratitude to the University of Hong Kong Museum Society for its financial support.
Please click here for exhibition handout.