18 June 2013

Random readings - on Hammershoi's "still life" paintings

detail from "Dust motes dancing in sunbeams" 1900
(found torn out of a magazine - RA, Summer 2008 -  a little crumpled)
"Painters either paint towards the light or towards the night. There will be less light, for the light can but fade. ...with Hammershoi the fading light is held, idealised and transformed into a state of being. For he must at all costs suppress the closing of the day, the light must be made to linger on and he must see anew what has already been seen before, see it again and then yet again. As a painter, one gets this same sensation looking at a painting on the studio wall as dusk approaches and the light fades. First, colour is bled out of the painting, then forms become reduced to silhouettes and with each passing phase one wishes to hold the moment longer in order to see what one could not even imagine in the painting before.

"For we see the painting anew each time we look. ... It is as if, in looking, we recognise that we should not be there. However, since we are there, we look in silence, waiting - perhaps now not even thinking - looking and waiting, not knowing when to leave."

words by Ian McKeever, who "shar[es] with Hammershoi an artistic sensibility in which light and colour evoke a profound stillness"
more works by Hammershoi (click image to enlarge)

McKeever and some of his work (click image to enlarge)

No comments: