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SUzanne perlman | Catching the ephemeral

Suzanne Perlman

Dutch Centre, City of London

12th May - 21st October 2018

Press release

Listings Information




Dates: Saturday 12 May to Sunday 21 October 2018


Venue:  Dutch Centre, 7 Austin Friars, London EC2N 2HA

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7588 1684


Open: Monday: 2pm-5pm | Tuesday - Friday by appointment. Please email


Curator’s tours: Monday-Friday by appointment. Please email


Price: Admission is Free



A pupil of Oskar Kokoschka in the sixties, an exhibitor with Hendrikus Chabot, Corneille and Jan Sluijters among others, Suzanne Perlman (née Sternberg) has had a remarkable artistic career spanning seven decades and three continents. Her distinctive paintings “capture the particular feel of the place while abating none of her expressionist dash” – John Russell Taylor, The Times, Critics Choice.


The prestigious “La Revue Moderne Paris” wrote the following about the artist: “With a palette that verges on the ‘fauve’, Suzanne Perlman arrives at compositions where the subject matter has all the pictorial qualities of the abstract. Delightful to perceive how well the values are kept in their organized relationship due to judicious and selective blending imbued by a thorough classical background.”


Perlman was born in Budapest in 1923 to a family of art and antique dealers and grew up surrounded by art and artists. After marrying her Dutch husband Henri in 1939, Suzanne moved to Rotterdam. However, her time there was cut short as the Second World War engulfed Europe. The couple’s narrow escape from Nazi persecution via Paris to the Caribbean island of Curaçao in the Netherlands Antilles, where they lived for the next four decades, ‘is a story of Hollywood proportions’. Suzanne began her artistic career in Curaçao painting the island and its people and she was awarded the Officer of the Royal Order of Oranje Nassau (Dutch equivalent of a Damehood) in recognition of her outstanding contributions to art.


She has been a resident of London since the eighties and The Dutch Centre in the City of London is proud to present a major exhibition of her work in 2018. The exhibition ‘SUZANNE PERLMAN | CATCHING THE EPHEMERAL’ presents around 25 key paintings and works on paper from three main periods of her artistic career: pictures made in Curaçao between 1941 and 1971; those created in the United States between 1970 and 1978; and works painted in London between 2002 and 2018.

The exhibition title CATCHING THE EPHEMERAL refers to Perlman’s express aim to capture the ‘fleeting moment of insight’ in her work. A feature that she feels is the ‘intrinsic quality’ of a work of art. She refers to her time working with Oskar Kokoschka: "The very first impression of a vision is crucial to retain.”  She remembers Kokoschka saying.  “This cannot be taught, but you (Suzanne) can do it.”  


Highlights include the emotionally charged portrait Curaçao Male, the winner of the 1971 Prix de la France Afrique of the Grand Palais in Paris, a vibrantly sensuous 2002 Self-Portrait (now in the 'Ruth Borchard Next Generation Collection'), and Bank Holiday in St James's Park (2005), a work described by art historian and author Philip Vann as “a multitude of figures - including a young skateboarder, a balloon seller and hip young lovers (one playing a cello) - in a teeming yet harmonious composition, evoking a gracefully informal Arcadia.”  

Based in the re-developed Dutch Church in Austin Friars, the Dutch Centre is a prominent establishment of Dutch art and culture in the UK.


The exhibition will be held from the 10 May to the 31 August and is open to the public with exception of days when the Main Hall is booked out for private events. Private curated tours available by appointment.

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Dutch Centre


April 2018

Financial times

Critic's Choice

May 2018

Apollo magazine

Pick of the week

May 2018

sleek magazine


May 2018

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