Art is divine

Infinite Twilight

Micha Christos

ORSAY MUSEUM

Paris

Until January 10, 2021

 

SPILLIAERT

LIGHT AND SOLITUDE

Léon Spilliaert (1881 - 1946)

Self-portrait - 1907

Indian ink wash, brush, colored pencil and watercolor on paper - 52.7 x 37.8 cm

United States, New-York (NY), The Metropolitan Museum of Art

© The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / image of the MMA

Léon Spilliaert (1881 - 1946)

Beach at low tide - 1909

Indian ink wash, brush, watercolor and colored pencil on paper - 65.1 x 48.6 cm

Private Collection © all rights reserved

The first in France for nearly 40 years, the exhibition “Lumière et solitude” focuses on the most radical and intense works of Spilliaert from 1900 to 1919.

 This man of disturbing solitude and infinite perspectives has always been confused by the non classifiable aspect of his works. Even though they are imbued with the influence of fin-de-siècle symbolism, expressionism filters through his hallucinatory faces and minimalism can already be seen in the purity of his landscapes.

 Léon Spilliaert left his mark on Belgian art by printing his canvases in ink with his torments and the melancholy that haunted him all his life under the sea sky of Ostend, a city that forever marks his work.

 His dark dizziness moves like specters on the canvas, inspired by the philosophy and poetry of Nietzsche to Baudelaire, from Schopenhauer to Chateaubriand on which he feeds to fill his sadness. He suffered from a "restless and feverish character" amplified by this heightened awareness of everything around him that dragged him into the twists and turns of an endless abyss, leaving him gasping with dread.

 

Insomniac due to severe stomach aches, the young artist sank into the night by the immense and dark sea. The city with its lights like fireflies suddenly seemed to open the doors to a fantastic universe. Love saves him when he meets Rachel Vergison in 1915, he marries her and thus puts an end to his solitary ordeal as well as his feverish inspiration.

 

A mise en abyme of subtle works in their veils of ink, the transparent mastery of which gives these colors the effect of a mirror of opaque tears. Troubling encounter with the suffering of a being on the edge of despair that only art revives with its glimmers in the twilight of its boredom.

 


Léon Spilliaert (1881 - 1946)

Moonlight and lights - Circa 1909

Indian ink wash, brush, colored pencil and pastel highlights on paper - 64 x 48.5 cm

Paris, Musée d´Orsay - Gift of Madeleine Spilliaert, 1981

© RMN-Grand Palais (Orsay Museum) / Hervé Lewandowski

Léon Spilliaert (1881 - 1946)

Breakwater at the pole - 1909

Indian ink wash, brush, charcoal and colored pencil on paper - 75 x 50 cm

Brussels, Belfius Art Collection - Belfius Art Collection

© Photo Frank Michta


Léon Spilliaert (1881 - 1946) - Woman at the water's edge -1910

India ink, brush, colored pencil and pastel on paper - 47.1 x 60.2 cm

Private collection Photo © Cedric Verhelst