Saturday, June 13, 2015

"Pale heart" by Bjørn Ransve

Bjørn Ransve
Pale heart
1975, oil on  canvas
60 x 50 cm

When all is subtracted, what is left but the object itself? Is there hope in a brutal, grey horizon? Or does it just bring structure to the painting? Structure versus pure organic form. The pale, transparent colors surrounding the object are giving off indications that it is somehow at rest, even when free floating. The background brings up associations to  works of Rothko. But the background has a function to the composition: to embed and contrast the heart. Hide and conceal.
But the heart – it is left lifeless. It is frozen in time and space. What a mare for an organ that should be warm, pumping, pouring red blood into the body. Giving restless, vibrant life. Now, at rest against colors of earth and maybe fog. Is there a sky, a higher dimension, potential of salvation and freedom? And, there is earth: death and the potential for new life. No matter how barren the land might seem. So there is hope. A heart gives hope. Standing out at the center of the painting and at the same time dissolving into the background. A dissolving, pale heart? A heart without the function of a heart. Faint, distant but with a strong presence. The painting of a heart, heart of the painting, the heart of a painter? Attempting to fix form and idea and expelling feelings and emotions. Are the composition an expression of a barren artistic landscape inhabited only by the visiting spirit of the painter? Is this the modern reflection on "The scream" by Munch?  Is it a self-portrait or a portrait of despair of how our attitude towards our surrounding has left it both pale and exhausted, passing the pain on to the observer? 

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