The work of the artist Menno Balm (1982), who lives in Mheer, is central to the current exhibition ‘A journey through time’. In his work, which consists of paintings, but also mainly of drawings, Menno takes us to Italy. Although he uses sketches made on the spot in present-day Italy, the chosen subjects are full of references to the Roman past: ancient archaeological ruins, walls and especially stairs inspire him. Incidentally, the performance is only the completion of a visual process that begins with a search for possible compositional outlines, rhythms and divisions of surfaces. Only when these have been found does Menno start sketching in which the subject is further explored. The way the light hits the weathered stones and emphasizes the highlighted edges and irregularities, creates the special atmosphere that arises in the drawings. Also painted in oil paint this remains an important starting point, where the added value of color gives the same subject, which has already been drawn, a completely different look.

Given the interest in the history of Italy that speaks from Menno’s work, it was a small step towards the Roman finds that are in the archaeological collection of Museum Valkenburg. Although these were all found in the immediate vicinity of Valkenburg, they fit in seamlessly with the Mediterranean culture that Balm’s drawings and paintings breathe. He chose a number of these objects especially for this exhibition to make some drawings, which bridge the gap between the works of art and the archaeological finds.

Some of the works will leave Museum Valkenburg before the end date of the exhibition for exhibitions in Florence and Rome. After the Easter weekend, these will be replaced by other drawings in which Roman archeology plays a dominant role. A good reason for a double visit to this special exhibition!

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