press release - art critic

Tony Dell, the famous Australian cricket player and society columnist, in his blog about the London show 'The Horse Fascination':
"Now then! If you like horses and have a large house then go no further than the HF Contemporary Art Gallery and the equine paintings of Christa Walhof. This lady's paintings have been described as the best painting of horses since Stubbs, although I thought his horses were an
odd shape. But there you go. They say that she is the best and I'm not surprised. I could have sworn they were photographs but no, these
enormous animal pictures have been painted with a reality that is positively deceptive and with a brilliance that any horse lover would
drool over - were they tall enough!"

National Gallery London - Chris Riopelle, curator . about 'The Horse Fascination': ".. and I am particularly delighted when I discover an artist who is new to me and doing compelling and original work. Congratulations!"

Cherry and John Steel, Steel's Thoroughbred Breeding UK : "Christa's works always capture the essence of the horse. She has a brilliant technique and she executes the very difficult large formats with an accuracy portraying her sound knowledge of the anatomy of the horse in an original style. Her execution of the light and shade is excellent, the detail is superb right down to the stitching on the saddle. The painting comes alive as if it were a very good photograph of the animal in its surroundings. It is so good that you feel you are in the presence of the animal in the flesh."
Claudia Wahjudi, art critic (Kunstforum international et al), in the Berlin "Tagesspiegel":
“She (the gallery owner) leads visitors straight into the store and pushes canvases around until suddenly a large picture of a thoroughbred, painted so realistically by Berlin artist Christa Walhof that it looks as if is about to leap out of the canvas, stands before them. You have to be a horse lover to recognise all its subtlety at one glance – or even better, an Englishman familiar with equestrian art…”

Gertrud Voellering – in the “Berliner Abendblatt” (extract): "You can almost expect to feel the horse’s smooth, warm coat, the muscles and tendons that stand out from underneath it. But Christa Walhof’s horses are made only of canvas and paint, they are only depictions – but created in such a way that you wouldn’t be surprised to hear a quiet snort now and then.
She started painting horses as a child. She grew up in Allgaeu (near Switzerland) and was, like many other young girls, horse-mad. She just didn’t want to be a groom or a riding instructor, but the ‘best painter of horses in Bavaria.’ After leaving school she studied at the Munich Academy of Arts, from which she graduated with a Master’s degree.
But one day, the horses were back again. ‘I wanted to know whether I could really do it’ she says. Horses, it has to be said, are incredibly difficult to paint. These animals don’t have a frizzy coat which hides the precise shape of joints, muscles and tendons. The painter of horses must also reproduce the way that light reflects off the smooth coat, must master challenging features such as nostrils and hooves, and finally give the eye that brilliance that makes the animal come alive. Christa Walhof manages all of this superbly. She has certainly worked hard at her art: she has spent countless hours in stables and paddocks, and observed, drawn and photographed horses. She has even on occasion visited an institute of veterinary medicine to study the anatomy of the horse from cadavers. She works on a picture for two to three months and has to apply up to 30 coats of paint before she is happy with the play of light and shadow on the coat, and the gleam in the eye.
Then the horse lives, although it remains partly fantasy, because Christa Walhof never adds any background. Without forest, fields, houses or people to give it any sort of reference, the horse is painted so realistically that the effect is as if it has fallen out of time and space, an object of longing that is lost in reverie.”
(translation by Sarah Lewis-Morgan)

exhibition impressions
in Berlin, London, Monaco, Gargilesse (France), Innsbruck (Austria), Gabelhofen Castle (Austria) etc.


press release, catalogue, posters


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