篮球竞彩nba www.xvrnl.com Why Hammershi is Europe's great painter of loneliness
Whether he was painting a corner stove, a sofa or a series of white doors, the late 19th Century Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi managed to imbue the seemingly commonplace objects in his half-empty rooms with “a quality not of this world, a reflection of sublime existence,” as the art historian Julius Elias put it in 1916.
無論是畫中角落里的爐子、沙發還是幾扇白門，19世紀末的丹麥藝術家哈莫修依(Vilhelm Hammershøi)都會設法給空蕩蕩的房間里那些看似普通的物件“一種超脫塵世的品質，一種高尚的存在感”。藝術史學家埃利亞(Julius Elias)1916年如此評價道。
Although his oeuvre encompassed enigmatic portraits, eerily unpopulated landscapes and cityscapes and a series of uniquely disquieting nudes, it is these mysterious interiors, subtly rendered in shades of grey and white and often featuring a woman seen from the rear, which have struck a particular chord with contemporary audiences since his emergence from relative obscurity some 20 years ago.
“We see millions of images every day and most of them are horrible and then you put yourself in front of a bare interior by Hammershøi and, without wanting to sound trivial, it’s like being in a yoga lesson. You have to take out everything of yourself to go back to the essential,” says Jean-Loup Champion, curator of Hammershøi, the master of Danish Painting, a new exhibition devoted to him running at the Musée Jacquemart-André in Paris until November.
“我們每天看到數以百萬計的圖像，其中大部分還蠻可怕的，然后你走到哈莫修依光禿禿的室內場景畫作前面，如果不想讓自己平庸無奇，就當是在一堂瑜伽課上。你必須把自己掏空，才能追溯本源。”《哈莫修依：丹麥繪畫大師》(Hammershøi, the master of Danish Painting)的策展人尚皮翁(Jean-Loup Champion)說。這個新的個人作品展覽目前正在雅克馬爾-安德烈美術館(Musée Jacquemart-André)進行，直至11月。
They are pictures which certainly call for quiet contemplation even if an initial sense of calm often gives way to something more unsettling. In the sublimely beautiful Sunshine in the Drawing Room III (1903) the delicately observed play of light has an almost meditative quality to it; however its evocation of silence gradually brings on a creeping sense of existential isolation.
最初的平靜感之后，往往是更不安的感覺，但這些畫作當然還是需要你安靜沉思的情緒。在極美的《客廳的陽光III》(Sunshine in the Drawing Room III，1903年)中，對光線游走的微妙觀察，具有一種近乎冥想的品質;然而，它喚起的寂靜逐漸帶出一種強烈的、與存在相關的孤立感。
The empty seat facing a closed door in Interior with Windsor Chair (1913) disquietingly suggests an absent presence or arouses a sense of anticipation for someone’s arrival. The entire space has the curiously ethereal feel of a waiting room between this world and the next.
在《有溫莎椅的內景》(Interior with Windsor Chair，1913年)中，一把空椅子對著緊閉的門，令人不安地暗示著缺席，或者激起了對有客到來的期待。整個空間有一種奇怪的超越凡世的感覺，就像一間介于此生與來世之間的等候室。
Home discomforts 家的不適
Hammershøi was painting at a time when interiors were a hugely popular motif. The home was seen as refuge from increasing industrialisation and artists enthusiastically portrayed the concept of hygge in paintings which suggested comfort and warmth. “But you cannot feel that in front of Hammershøi,” says Champion. “It’s absolutely the contrary, it’s very disturbing.”
Hammershøi appears to have been as taciturn, quiet and reserved as his art. He had a small, close circle of family and friends, many of whom appeared in his work, but in general he lived the life of a recluse, rarely appearing in public or commenting on his work.
From 1898 to 1909, his home was an apartment at Strandgade 30 in the Christianshavn district of Copenhagen and it is here that he painted most of his interiors. Favouring an austere aesthetic, in marked contrast to the sumptuous interiors common amongst the upper-middle classes, he and his wife Ida had the 18th Century wall mouldings, doors and walls painted a uniform white and the walls and ceilings in muted shades of grey, blue and yellow, with the wooden floorboards stained dark brown.
Their minimal furnishings, including two sofas, a chest of drawers, some tables and a piano, were systematically re-arranged to create compositions whose limited and non-naturalistic palette divorces the images from reality, giving them an almost otherworldly quality.
That is amplified when he introduces the figure of Ida, almost always seen from the rear. Although women were an integral presence in the Dutch genre and Danish Golden Age paintings which were a clear influence on Hammershøi, providing a sense of narrative, warmth or intimacy, none of these elements are evident in his work. The presence of Ida does not give his interiors life; instead, they remain as inaccessible and unreadable as the woman herself.
The woman in the window 窗邊的女子
That inscrutability is only enhanced when Hammershøi subverts the familiar Golden Age window motif which was often used to express a dialogue with the outside world. However, in a work such as Interior, Strandgade 30 (1901) in which Ida stands in shadow facing a wall, unable or unwilling to approach the window further in front of her, Hammershøi instead creates a metaphor for the loneliness of the individual. Her solitude is heightened by the frames, eerily devoid of pictures, which hang on the wall behind her. “You don’t know why this poor woman is facing the wall like that,” says Champion. “There is no hint as to what is happening inside her mind.”
黃金時代的繪畫，往往借由窗口這個主題表達與外界的對話。但哈莫修依卻顛覆了這個常用的涵義，他的作品因此更加晦澀難懂。然而，在像《內景，海濱街30號》(Interior, Strandgarde 30 ，1901年)這樣的作品中，伊達站在暗處，面對墻壁，無法或者不愿意走近面前的窗口，哈莫修依以此隱喻個人的孤獨。伊達身后墻上的畫框令她看起來愈加孤獨，詭異的是，畫框里并沒有畫。“你不知道為什么這個可憐的女人要那樣對墻而立，”尚皮翁說。“她究竟在想什么，沒有任何暗示。”
The empty frames appear again in Interior with a Woman Standing (undated) in which Ida stands with bowed head in front of a window. Perhaps it is the softer light or the delicate nature of the duck-egg blue walls but here she seems more contemplative than alone. “I think that’s one of the reasons people are attracted to it now,” says Champion. “Since there is no psychology, no story, you can just put your own vision in to it.”
《室內，一個站著的女人》(Interior with a Woman Standing，未注明日期)再次出現了空畫框，伊達低著頭站在窗前。也許是因為光線更為柔和，或者因為鴨蛋青色墻壁的微妙本質，她給人的感覺似乎是在沉思，而非孤獨。“我想這就是畫作能吸引當代觀眾的原因之一吧，”尚皮翁說。“因為沒有心理描述，沒有情節，所以你只能把自己的想像放進去。”
There is only one image in which Ida seems at ease and this is Rest (1905) in which she sits turned away from us, slumped in a chair, the nape of her neck making for an uncharacteristically sensual focus. “It’s very special this one, because it doesn’t look like the others,” says Champion. “I find in this one everything that is lacking in the others… there is a sweetness in this painting. It’s almost like he wanted to paint a portrait, but from behind.”
The painting is a rare example of Hammershøi’s work projecting warmth. By contrast, when Ida is seen from the front in Three Young Women (1895) along with her two sisters in law, the picture, far from displaying happy families, feels oppressive. “They don’t connect ever, it’s like each one was imprisoned in his own world,” says Champion.
這件作品是哈莫修依畫作呈現出暖意的罕見例子。相比之下，在《三位年輕女子》(Three Young Women，1895年)中，伊達與她的兩個姻親以正面示人，但也沒有展示家庭的溫馨，而讓人感到壓抑。“她們之間沒有溝通，就像每個人都被囚禁在自己的世界里，”尚皮翁說。
Hammershøi may have subverted the motifs of his Dutch and Danish predecessors but in another sense he can be seen as a forerunner of Edward Hopper. Champion agrees there is “the same discomfort.” In drawing comparisons between Hopper’s most famous work, Nighthawks (1942) and Three Young Women he says “it’s always a question of being alone, you feel alone when you are in front of both these paintings.”
However, he sees Hopper as being more emphatic in his portrayals of anguish. “There is a beautiful Hopper painting with a woman half-clothed sitting on a bed and there is a window and nothing else,” says Champion. “You can feel the drama which was there before. There is narrative, that’s the difference.”
A painter for our times? 我們時代的畫家？
With Hammershøi we are left to project our own emotions onto the paintings and if they are frequently ones of anxiety and unease that perhaps says more about the turbulent times we live in than the Danish master’s unfathomable intentions. Though given Hammershøi was living in an era when Danes were contending with significant territorial losses and growing tensions within Europe, it is possible contemporary viewers reacted similarly to the work.
But his ability to draw such feelings from us is not the sole source of his appeal. “Of course, we don’t forget that they are incredibly beautiful,” says Champion.
Emil Hannover, an art historian and friend of Hammershøi’s, saw his work as “a silent protest against all the gaudy and gaping tastelessness of our time.” In our own era which is infinitely gaudier and more tasteless than late 19th and early 20th Century Denmark, in which we yearn to declutter our homes of unnecessary purchases and our minds of unnecessary distraction perhaps it is unsurprising that his paintings resonate so deeply. Disquieting he may be, but there’s also a solace in his sparseness – he is the painter we need right now.