Monday, April 4, 2011

S. J-Mikines 1906-1979. Aftur av jarðarferð 1937, Listasavn Føroya, Tórshavn, Føroya by craniv boyd.

S. J-Mikines 1906-1979. Aftur av jarðarferð 1937, Listasavn Føroya, Tórshavn, Føroya by craniv boyd.


We are in a small vessel for rowing on the sea, and it is dark a dank bottle green light is about, present in the approaching darkness our co voyagers in the craft are downtrodden, dejected wearing long faces  absorbed in memory pensive and wearing black.


The boat is peopled by eight people four men and four women in the front is a pair of man and woman, this man holds the hand of the woman next to him and their heads are close conveying a mutual intimacy and  common bereavement. This man bearded with a mask of sorrow is the most colorful  and hopeful passenger, his ocher and flesh tones on his face makes not only the woman he is holding look like a member of the impoverished martyrs club of Picasso's blue period, but the rest of the depressed convoy seem suitable for membership there too.


There is a quizzical diagonal light that hovers above and behind the passengers, it is so meager and bizarre it appears at risk of vanishing altogether in the thick sea fog  and island mist. This light is a back drop for the people in the boat, the vast expanse of the ocean between the islands is stated in this meager light.  The momentary depression of the passengers set together with the dramatic environment of the ocean at dusk sets a overwhelming fear into the body of the viewer. Panic when it feels like a cold dampness creeping through attire. These people need to get home it is late out and they have laid some one to rest, they are making a crossing from one Island to the next as the light leaves for the night, and the ocean, the elements do not seem to be  merciful in regards their bereavement.


The rectangular canvas is oriented in the vertical, the passengers form a compositional triangle or pyramid that simple and elegantly juts out of the horizon like the tip of an iceberg, the man steering the vessel is the zenith of this pyramid and he leans right the light above him is almost like a spot light so as to draw attention towards  both the semi darkness and the people who are moving through it.  The painting is a study in deep Prussian blue and black  Payne's grey and other hues are present but the dominant  color is decidedly black. The thick  shiny varnish on the buckling surface only heightens the patina of 1937 thick wet on wet oil painting, the visible cracks on the paintings surface now almost three quarters of a century later are sings of a conservationists nightmare, a rare stunning emotional poetic expressive painting that displays the dignity and resolve of a small fishing community  with irreversible and rapid sings of decay due to the painting technique of Faroese expressionism and Faroese modernism. by craniv boyd.

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