The Colour of the Void


Sometimes I think I stand at the edge of the void looking in, other times I think I am already inside. In wintertime I have this urge to paint monochromatic blue paintings. Mostly they represent water ... or I wish they represented water. The truth is I don't even think about what they should represent, as long as they are blue, the colour I can lose myself in. I have a friend who often teases me about my blue periods. But what he doesn't know is that my blue periods seem to last forever, here and there they are punctured by red or another colour, just for the sake of experimenting, to see what happens when I use another colour for the same subject matter. 

What I think about lately is the void, deep blue void, something along the lines of Yves Klein when he said that blue at most represents the sea and sky, parts of nature being the most abstract. The sea ... so I am here again, on the edge of deep blue water, rolling towards infinity. I have never actually seen a painting by Yves Klein (internet doesn't count), however I saw several paintings by Thierry de Cordier when I visited La Biennale di Venezia in 2013. I wouldn't compare them to Klein's paintings, but they were my first real contact with the void. At the time I thought I could smell the bitter cold salty air filling my lungs and feel it in my hair. I wished I could be alone in the room, just his paintings and me ... and deep silence.

Speaking of Yves Klein ... He moved focus from material object to immaterial sensibility, the path to which he searched through pure colour. He noticed that through colour he felt complete identification with space and freedom. In his blue period he painted in deep blue he mixed himself, an International Klein Blue (IKB). He used ultramarine pigment with a matte synthetic resin binder, so that the pigment maintained as much of its intensity as possible. IKB represented complete freedom, a feeling that in reality only sea or sky can cause, "the empty, the deep empty, the deep of the blue." The void.  This void is full rather than representing absence. Void is a field of forces where material becomes immaterial, it denies tangibility, solidity of the objects. His monochromatic paintings capture entire field of vision, enhanced by softening the edges of his canvas frames. Thus the painting doesn't end, it fades.

Or as he said: "I seek, above all, to realize in my own creations that 'transparence', that immeasurable 'void' in which lives the permanent and absolute spirit freed of all dymensions."

Yves Klein, L'accord bleu (RE 10), 1960, mixed media, IKB pigment and sponges on canvas / mešana tehnika, IKB pigment in gobe na platnu; via/vir

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Včasih se mi zdi, da stojim na robu velike praznine, drugič spet, da sem že notri. Pozimi čutim potrebo po slikanju monokromatskih modrih slik. Večinoma predstavljajo vodo. Morda si samo želim da bi predstavljale vodo, čeprav v resnici sploh ne razmišljam o tem kaj predstavljajo. Samo naj bodo modre, v barvi, v kateri se lahko izgubim. Prijatelj me je nekoč vprašal ali sem v modri fazi. Nečesa pa le ne ve: moja modra faza še kar traja, sem in tja jo prekinem z rdečo ali kakšno drugo barvo, vendar bolj kot eksperiment, da vidim kaj se zgodi ko isti motiv naslikam z drugo barvo.

Zadnje čase razmišljam o veliki praznini, globoki modri praznini, nekako v stilu Yvesa Kleina, ko je rekel, da modra v najboljšem primeru predstavlja nebo ali morje, tam, kjer je narava najbolj abstraktna. Morje ... pa sem spet ob robu modre vode, ki se vali k neskončnosti. Pravzaprav nikoli nisem videla Kleinovih slik (internet ne šteje), sem pa videla slike Thierrija de Cordierja, ko sem leta 2013 obiskala beneški Bienale. Ne bi ga primerjala s Kleinom, čeprav so pomenile moj prvi stik z veliko praznino. Takrat se mi je zdelo, da lahko vonjam oster slan zrak, ki mi polni pljuča in mrši lase. Želela sem si, da bi bila v razstavišču sama, samo slike in jaz ... in globoka tišina.

Ko sem že pri Yvesu Kleinu ... V svojih delih je s čisto barvo prestavil fokus z oprijemljivega objekta k nematerialnemu občutku. Opazil je, da je v čisti barvi čutil popolno identifikacijo s prostorom, čutil se je svobodnega. V modrem obdobju je slikal v globoko modri barvi, ki jo je sam zmešal, imenovala pa se je International Klein Blue (IKB). Pigment, ki ga je uporabil je bila ultramarin modra, s posebnim mat vezivom pa je dosegel, da je barva ohranila intenziteto pigmenta. IKB je predstavljala popolno svobodo, občutek, ki ga v resničnosti lahko vzbudita samo morje in nebo, praznino, globoko praznino, globino modre. Veliko praznino. Slednja je prej polna kot da bi predstavljala odsotnost nečesa. Velika praznina je polje sil, kjer materialno postane nematerialno, zanika oprijemljivost, trdnost predmetov. Kleinove monokromatske slike zavzamejo celotno vidno polje, občutek, ki ga je še povečal s tem, da je zmehčal robove podokvirja. Tako se slika ne konča, ampak počasi izgine.

Ali kot je sam rekel: "Predvsem iščem to, da v mojih delih dosežem transparentnost, neizmerljivo praznino, v kateri se nahaja večen in absoluten duh, osvobojen vseh dimenzij."


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