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醉花阴 Inebriated in the Flower Shade

2020-02-18 14:48:31 来源: 艺术家提供 作者:赵力 
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摘要:从表面上来看,肖芳凯的作品总是给观赏者带来某种冷清孤寂的心绪,亦如宋代词人李清照在那篇《醉花阴》中所叠造出的情境滋味。对於古诗词,肖芳凯显然并不陌生,少年的他甚至还认真拜师研习中国书画,对於传统文化颇有心得。也是基於这样的不同经历,肖芳凯很注意选择并营造景致,而不是一味针对外界世界进行所谓的描摹刻画…

  从表面上来看,肖芳凯的作品总是给观赏者带来某种冷清孤寂的心绪,亦如宋代词人李清照在那篇《醉花阴》中所叠造出的情境滋味。对於古诗词,肖芳凯显然并不陌生,少年的他甚至还认真拜师研习中国书画,对於传统文化颇有心得。也是基於这样的不同经历,肖芳凯很注意选择并营造景致,而不是一味针对外界世界进行所谓的描摹刻画。肖芳凯没有坚持走画国画的道路,这的确有点匪夷所思,但是正如画家所言“画什麽要比怎麽画要重要的多!”也就是说,肖芳凯并不在意於自己所使用的创作媒材,而是更关注於所要传达的思想观念。肖芳凯很肯定自己对油画的选择,并且决意去清华大学美术学院拜在石冲门下。石冲,是中国当代艺术领域中的旗帜式人物,他的特点就是融通浑成又别具一格,其中在注重观念鲜明表达和画面细腻复杂呈现之间的平衡控制尤有特色。肖芳凯无疑深受其益,加之年少时研习书画的经验累积,於是就在入学不久肖芳凯即已找到了自我的致力方向。

  画园林,是肖芳凯的一次重要选择。他曾经多次下江南,徜徉於苏州各名园中。这不仅仅是为了用眼睛去实地观察园林的当下风貌,还是用心灵去沉浸以嗅闻到历史文化的深邃气息。起初,肖芳凯更喜欢像沧浪亭这样自然化的园林,既有历史文化的承载,又有造化野趣的格调。画家有关於此的表达也显得活泼生动,平添了许多与自然间丰富细致的互动关联。很快,肖芳凯跳离开这种基於园林现实臧丕之上的画题选择,开始关注如何在自己的画面中去布景造境。显然,肖芳凯不愿意通过自己的作品去展现园林的现实性,也就是说在自己的画面中仅仅去描摹园林的形象真实,为此画家甚至有意识放弃园林光鲜靓丽的一面,而转向针对荒败不堪的悉心描画。“废墟”,是文化学研究中的当代命题,它关涉到历史传统的不断演变和变异,也与当代文化针对历史的观看认识密切相关。当然,肖芳凯也清楚地知道唐诗宋词中那些有关“废墟”的各色描写,以及它们如何历经元明清而生成为某种经典文化传统的过程,然而画家此刻更热衷的却是要将这些文学化的意境真正转化为某种视觉化的意境。

  一开始肖芳凯很重视作品的意境营造,采用了类似於宋词“叠词造境”的原则,即以层层叠叠的累加而营造出妍丽的情境。於是,在肖芳凯的画面中湖石叠压、屋宇层密、花木参差,以营造出相互掩映而曲径通幽的气氛格调。在强调整体气氛的同时,肖芳凯也非常重视细节的表达,画家总是不厌其烦地将对这些细节的自我感受加以清晰呈现,在不经意中令观赏者欢喜不已、惊讶赞叹。但是,肖芳凯随即又展开了变化,即画家借重於“荒败”园林的描绘,将原先“叠词造境”的平铺直叙逐渐转化为有选择的取景造境。在创作中,肖芳凯有意识地通过光影投射去强化或者弱化画面中的表达对象,这种光影投射不是漫无目的自然光,更像是人为把控的舞台灯光。实际上,画家力图在画面中形成某种更具主观性的视像结构,用以区别於园林景致的现实视觉,进而强化了自我的精神诉求和观念表达。

  事实上,肖芳凯对於“荒败”之园林的描写,从某种层面上隐含了画家本人的历史态度和当下认识。肖芳凯很尊重历史传统,在很多的场合画家总是用一种敬畏之心去面对或讲述文化历史。然而,肖芳凯对历史传统的敬畏之心并非是亦步亦趋的守旧保存,正如他将“园林”视为“废墟”一样,历史传统和当下文化之间的隔膜断裂已然成为现实。肖芳凯意图通过“荒败”化的处理,建立起在历史与现实之间的某种自我言说,讨论的正是当代文化的当下认识与价值意义。如果我们能够更关注肖芳凯创作的话,实际上画家所刻意营造的“荒败”景致,就是身处当代的我们每个人的内心——被假说的历史、碎片的现实、商业的浸染、淡薄的人情、贫瘠的文化所结构出的奇异体——虽则看似或庞大或精巧,实质上如此得脆弱不堪。

  从“荒败”园林出发,肖芳凯的自我调整在近期显得更加有力。与之前偏重“造境”相反,画家致力於某种更自由的主体抒发和画面表达,由此,其创作也出现了弥散性的特质。“弥散”,是一种解决复杂关系并令这些关系彼此定义、对话与交流的重要方式。肖芳凯已经认识到过於偏重“造境”所带来的各种的困顿和纠缠,也就是说在一张画中是无法涵盖所有的复杂关系甚至协调整合这些复杂关系的,基於此画家试图引入“弥散”的原则,将自己创作引申为复杂关系的多样并存。从更入的层面上加以认识,肖芳凯的又一变对应的显然也是当代文化中的突出问题,事实上“文化的弥散性决定了当代人感受文化的内涵的难度和复杂”,而肖芳凯即是以这种自我的视像结构去展现和表达出我们的欲言又止或者是熟视无睹。

  肖芳凯提出的“笔法即思想,呈现即观念”,无疑是针对於自我创作的具体落实的,但是我相信它也会在未来对於创作整体产生影响。肖芳凯即便热衷理论性的思考,但是画家的责任更在於将所有的思想观念逐步落实为具体的创作。肖芳凯逐步放弃了关於园林的整体性表述,而是随手拈来般的自由撷取,以有目的地去解构园林的旧有相貌,而达成全新的视觉感受。光影投射也不再是造境的需要或者细节描画的强调,现在它的好处显然易见,因为光影已经转化为肖芳凯控制画面层次或者情绪空间的有机方式,并且可以穿插画面其中让各个层次交流互动,从而形成了生动的画面整体。笔法,是肖芳凯此刻的核心话题,它的重要性在於画家已将“笔法”从创作手法提升为创作方式。肖芳凯很强调书写性的“笔法”,他往往从画面的一个角落入笔逐渐蔓延至画面的全部,痛快淋漓地一气呵成而刻意不做任何的预先约定。显然,“笔法”在肖芳凯眼中不是纯然的技术手段,而是创作力的核心内容,也就是说关乎“笔法”的“书写性”,也不再是“笔法”的书写特性,而是画家情绪、精神、生命的流动痕迹,是视觉表达和精神抒发的不谋而合。

  “笔法”的书写性和情绪化,给予画面的不光光是“正面性”的视像塑造,同时也带来了复杂化的纠结不清。事实上很多的“笔法”彼此之间形成的叠压、干扰,令整个画面不是愈加清晰而是愈加模糊。色彩,在肖芳凯过去的作品中是被严格控制的,画家甚至有意识地消减了色彩的多样性和丰富性,以此来突出某种具有历史感的灰白效果,但是如今却出人意料地活跃起来,而与笔法相得益彰地形成某种的斑驳陆离,同样是微妙复杂的感受。实际上,模糊而微妙的画面感受,显然就是肖芳凯针对“弥散”原则的创作落实。於是,当我们的视线在画面移动的时候,画面中的各种复杂关系和各种的微妙感受总是令人沉醉,从而引发出内省的欲望和挣脱的遐思。

赵力 中央美术学院教授,艺术史博士,博士生导师

  Apparently, Xiao Fangkai's works always bring a feeling of chill and solitude to the audiences, just like the atmosphere that Li Qingzhao, a poet in the Song dynasty, created in Inebriated in the Flower Shade. Xiao is obviously no stranger to traditional poems, and he is quite familiar with traditional culture as he studied calligraphy and Chinese painting in his boyhood. The different experience prompts him to attentively select and create sceneries instead of depicting the external world blindly. It was a bit unusual that Xiao didn't adhere to traditional Chinese painting. But just as he said, "What to paint matters much more than how to paint!" That is to say, he cares more about the concept he intends to express than the media he uses to paint. Xiao is quite sure about his choice in oil painting and determined to become a pupil of Shi Chong, a banner figure of contemporary Chinese art in Tsinghua University, whose characteristic lies in his integration and uniqueness, especially the balance control of the distinct expression of concept and the delicate presentation of pictures. Xiao definitely benefited much from him, and additionally due to the study of calligraphy and Chinese painting in his boyhood, he found his own path in art creation soon after entering the university.

  Painting gardens is a significant choice of Xiao, who used to travel to the south of the Yangtze River several times and visit those famed gardens in Suzhou, not only to observe the current situation of the gardens on the spot, but also to sense the profound history and culture with heart. At first, Xiao preferred natural gardens with historical and cultural atmosphere as well as a touch of rustic charm, such as Canglang Pavilion. His expression of these gardens was quite lively and vivid, with ample and delicate interaction with nature. Soon, he skipped the theme based on true gardens and started to focus on how to set the scene and build the situation in his own pictures. Apparently, he is reluctant to present the actuality of the gardens with his works – only depicting the real situation of them. Therefore, the artist even consciously abandoned the flashy aspect of the gardens, but carefully depicted the desolate scenes. "Ruins" is a contemporary topic of culturology study, which covers the ceaseless evolution and transformation of history and culture and is also closely related to contemporary culture's cognition of history. Certainly, Xiao knows well about those descriptions of "ruins" in Tang and Song poems, as well as how they become a classical cultural tradition during the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, but the artist is currently more zealous in transforming these culturological conceptions into some visible conceptions.

  At the beginning, Xiao values much the creation of the artistic conceptions of his works, introducing the principles of "creating the situation with repeated words" in Song poems, that is, to create the beautiful situation with the accumulation of words. Then, the overlapping lakeside rocks, houses, flowers and trees in Xiao's paintings produce the atmosphere of being sheltered and winding away. In addition to the stress on the overall atmosphere, Xiao also attaches much importance to the expression of details. He tirelessly presents his own perception of these details distinctly and accidentally pleases and amazes the audiences. However, he immediately changes, gradating the matter-of-fact way of "creating the situation with repeated words" into creating the situation with selected scenes by depicting "desolate" gardens. In art creation, Xiao consciously strengthens or weakens the objects of expression in the picture by casting light, which is not the random natural light, but the contrived stage-lighting. Actually, the artist strives to build a more subjective visual structure to distinguish from the real vision of the gardens and to intensify his own spiritual appeal and conception expression.

  As a matter of fact, Xiao's depiction of the "desolate" gardens implies the artist's attitude toward history and view of the present in a sense. He respects history and tradition, and on many occasions, he always faces or tells about culture and history with a respectful heart. However, this respectful heart is by no means conservative imitation. The rupture of history and tradition and current culture has already been a reality, just as he regards "gardens" as "ruins". With the "desolate" handling, Xiao intends to establish a self-narration between history and reality, discussing the current cognition and value of contemporary culture. If we concern more about his art creation, the "desolate" scenes he deliberately creates are actually the innermost beings of us contemporary people – something bizarre that is composed of assumed history, fractional reality, commercial infiltration, chilly social relationship and barren culture – although it seems giant or ingenious, it is rather fragile in essence.

  After painting the "desolate" gardens, Xiao seems to adjust himself to a more powerful way recently. In contrast to the emphasis on "creating situations", the artist is more dedicated to a freer expression of the subject and picture, and therefore, there is a character of dispersion in his art creation. "Dispersion" is a significant way of solving the complicated relationships and inducing them to define, dialogue and communicate with each other. He has realized the trouble and tangle brought about by the emphasis on "creating situations", that is, it's impossible to cover or even coordinate and integrate these complicated relationships in one picture. As a result, by the endeavor of introducing the principle of "dispersion", the artist extends his own painting to the diverse coexistence of the complicated relationships. On a deeper level, the change of Xiao's art is obviously the issue in contemporary culture. Actually, "the dispersion of culture determines the difficulty and complexity for modern people to experience culture", and Xiao exactly presents and expresses our dilemma with such a visual structure of self.

  Xiao proposes that "brushwork is idea, and presentation is concept", which undoubtedly relies on his own art production, but I believe it will have an effect on the whole art creation in the future.  Even if Xiao has zeal for theoretical thinking, an artist's responsibility lies more in gradually transforming all the ideas and concepts into specific production. Xiao progressively abandons the integral expression of gardens, but captures ideas freely and deconstructs the original features of the gardens purposefully so as to achieve a new visual perception. The cast of light no longer aims for creating situations or detail description, and it's obvious to see its benefit because light and shadow has transformed into the organic way that Xiao controls the levels or emotional space of the pictures. It shuttles between the pictures and enables the levels to communicate and interact with each other, which composes the whole vivid picture. The brushwork is the core subject of Xiao at the moment, and its significance is that the artist has refined "brushwork" from a painting technique to a painting manner. Xiao emphasizes the calligraphic "brushwork", extending it from one corner of the picture to the whole and finishing it at a heat without any assumption. Apparently, in Xiao's eyes, "brushwork", rather than a pure technique, is the core theme of creativity, that is, the "calligraphic feature" of "brushwork" is no longer the writing characteristic of the "brushwork", but the traces of the artist's emotions, spirits and life, which coincide with his visual expression and spirit.

  The calligraphic feature and sentiment of the "brushwork" brings not only the "obverse" visual creation, but also complicated entanglement to the picture. Actually, the overlying and interference of "brushworks" blurs, rather than clears, the whole picture. Colors used to be strictly controlled in Xiao's works, and he even consciously diminished the diversity and richness of colors to achieve the gray and white effect with a sense of history. But they are now unexpectedly active, which creates a subtle complicated feeling of multi-colors together with his brushworks. Actually, the hazy and subtle feeling of the picture is obviously Xiao's practice of the principle of "dispersion". Therefore, when our sights move on the picture, the complicated relationships and subtle feelings are always intoxicating, inducing the desire for introspection and reverie of escaping.

Zhao Li / Professor of Central Academy of Fine Arts, Doctor of Art history, Doctoral supervisor

(责任编辑:陈思竹)

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