Tessa Verder

14. September 2019 to 30. September 2019
24. March 2019 to 13. April 2019

The Dutch artist Tessa Verder has been living in Berlin since 2006. Born in Vleuten, Netherlands, in 1967, she attended the Fotoacademie in Haarlem, NL (1989–92) and the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam (1993–95). In 2018 her catalogue Tessa Verder. Breeze of Light was published and we invited her to Föhr for a residency. Tessa Verder expressed the wish to spend spring and autumn on the island and we split up the residency, happy to comply with her request.


The means of photography are fundamental to Tessa Verder. Her passion belongs to the painted land, sea and mountainscapes of art history from the Renaissance to modernism, as well as to the corresponding real landscapes of Europe. Thus, the study of the originals, the photographs of the landscapes and the images accumulating in her mind on trips into nature result in something new. On the computer in her Berlin studio she generates the almost hyperreal and timeless-seeming, virtuoso conflations of her own repertoire of photographic images and the existing models from the world of art history.


“Part of the work’s appeal comes from the friction that is produced by combining painting and photography, with their differences in surface expression. The work seems highly real, and at the same time rather unreal, as if the realness has been pushed to the limit of credibility. ... If the places the artist has imaged do not exist as such on this earth, then she has to create them …” (Jurian Bentschoop, “Becoming Nature,” in Tessa Verder. Breeze of Light, 2018)


During her sojourn on Föhr, Tessa Verder went on to create new worlds. She enthusiastically seized the opportunity to study our collection in the museum’s storage facility and view many of the works from the Romantic period to classical modernism in person, only to then go out and scour Föhr and Amrum with her camera. Numerous landscape details in the pictures included our collection can be found out there in the exact same way. After the first part of her stay (24 March – 13 April 2019) she returned to Berlin with “sketches” in her head ". On 14 September 2019 she came to Föhr again and continued her work in autumnal light and weather until the end of that month.