Martha Visser't Hooft (1906-1994), Blue Shards, 1969; oil on canvas, 29 x 60 inches; Gift of Nan and Will Clarkson, 2002
In 1991 the David Anderson Gallery in Buffalo produced a major retrospective on Martha Visser’t Hooft. To accompany the exhibition, an important, illustrated catalogue was produced by The Poetry/Rare Books Collection and The State University of New York at Buffalo, with essays by Robert J. Bertholf’ and Albert L. Michaels, and commentary by the artist. About her work the artist wrote: “Painting to me is creating a bridge from the invisible to the visible.” In Dr. Bertholf’s catalog essay, “The Lyric Painting of Martha Visser’t Hooft,” he wrote:
…The same kind of contrast between the parts of the vision and the whole vision appear in the two paintings entitled Arrival from 1969 and Blue Shards from 1969. Arrival has a reddish orange background and Blue Shards has a bluish green background, but both present curved geometric shapes suspended in a field as if to be emblematic of parts of the imaginative version defined now by spatial dimensions. That the curved pieces remain separate and are not combined into a controlling figure is itself important because the pieces maintain a spatial definition to one another and create in the spread of their designs a contextual vision which is a radical version of reality.