Tropical Colors,
Renaissance Intellect

Curaçao Museum, April 7, 2001
Caribbean Edition
by Annette Statius Muller

It is the third time since 1993 that Maryleen Schiltkamp, who is often in New York and lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, exhibits on her native island Curaçao. Starting tomorrow, her artwork is on show at the Curaçao Museum.

Maryleen Schiltkamp received her first painting lessons from the Curaçao artist Lucilla Engels. After finishing high school at Peter Stuyvesant College, Schiltkamp left the island for the Netherlands to continue her studies at the Rietveld Academy and the Rijksacademie voor Beeldende Kunsten. Schiltkamp exhibited in galleries and museums in various cities in the Netherlands and in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo. In March of this year she was even selected by Manhattan Arts International as their Artist of the Month.

Schiltkamp has selected about thirty oil paintings for her latest Curaçao exhibition. They can be divided into three groups: Renaissance, Curaçao and Japan. Inspiration for the last group is related to her first exhibition in Japan. These works of art refer to themes from traditional Japanese prints, depicted in a contemporary style of painting. The paintings in the Curaçao group are relatively simple, with unmistakably tropical colors.

Schiltkamp has achieved international acclaim with her paintings based on the Renaissance. Typical of these works is their intellectual, often philosophical dimension. This aspect as well as the value she attaches to tradition and continuity is clearly expressed by the cross-connection Schiltkamp draws between various art forms and frames of mind. By the way, one does not need to 'understand' the erudite associations to be captured by their impact. The daring interplay of bright colors and forms is very convincing by itself. The harmony she achieves between the fluidity of lines and angular, geometric figures is often surprising.

The pièce de resistance of Schiltkamp's exhibition is ‘Raphael: The School of Athens’. On this canvas, based on the fresco by the famous Italian Renaissance painter, she depicts the classical scene within a geometric pattern. Very personal is the painting in which Schiltkamp pays homage to several culture bearers of Curaçao who contributed to her development as an artistically inclined personality.

Maryleen Schiltkamp's oil paintings are on show at the Curaçao Museum (Otrobanda) until April 29, 2001.