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【评论】自然之境

2015-05-05 14:35:58 来源:艺术家提供作者:戴小蛮
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  从事绘画的艺术家之作品,在展现视觉之美的同时,一定会在更深层面上表达出自己对这个世界的认知和态度,这一点勿庸置疑。在当代西方美术理论中,贡布里希将纯粹的视觉之美归纳于“所见”的范畴,而将“(对)世界的认知和态度”归纳于“所知”的范畴。事实上,即使是在印象主义和冷抽象主义的作品中——尽管作者本人总是宣称自己只关心视觉因素——这些作品总是会完整地呈现出作者特定的态度和观察、表现方式。而在中国绘画理论中,“外师造化,中得心源”的宗旨,则以最简洁和直观的方式阐明了绘画艺术的飞途。

  正是因为上述原因,我们细细品读一位画家的作品的时候,会陶醉于视觉上的形式美感,也会被画面所体现的某种精神状态所感染。当然,这里有一个前提,那就是画家在作画态度上是纯正,真诚的,在作画技法上是完备自足的。

  我们能从张小纲先生在内蒙额尔古纳的水彩写生作品中得到不少的感悟。

  首先,从这批小幅面的写生作品中,可以看出作者纯粹的创作态度。亲近大自然和淳朴的生活,去除矫饰,是这批作品中所流露出的精神状态,也是风景写生中的精髓所在。近年来,中国水彩画取得了令人振奋的发展,但其中也存在着一些令人担心的问题,比如有些艺术家为了作品的入选和获奖,往往在题材、形式语言上殚精竭虑,却淡漠了艺术与心灵和生命之间联系。也许,张小纲先生是以自己多年艺术实践和获全国大奖的经历及体会,选择了另一种艺术态度。从这批写生作品中,我们可以看到,其无论是选景、构图、具体描绘,都呈现出一种成熟画家的自然、放松的状态,这类作品,给观众的感受往往是亲切的、轻松愉悦的。因为只有不刻意、蕴藉、自然流露的作品,才会在观众心中引起同样的共鸣。作者的个性、才情、对生活和艺术的体认在这批作品得到了完整的表达。

  从这批水彩风景写生的作品中,我们还可以体会到作者的审美追求。通观这几十幅作品,在观看和表现上,作者选择了一种淳朴、平凡的审美趣味,既不追求特别的优美,也不追求特别的新奇(相信在额尔古纳这个地方,上述这些美感是不会缺乏的),而是追求一种大地和农牧生活固有的平凡、质朴,作者从这一独特角度找到了亲近之感;湖边的小树,有拖拉机或油桶的木棚舍,雪后的村落和赶马的人,不知名的草坡和丘陵,这不是一种旅游者和大自然爱好者的欣赏和赞叹之情,而是生活与艺术旅程中的归属之感。

  作为一位探索水彩艺术几十年的画家,张小纲先生尝试过多种水彩表现语言,在写实性及表现性的水彩语言上都深有体会和造诣。而在这批水彩风景写生作品中,他的语言风格有了新的变化。若干年前,他探索过严谨的、深入的写实风格,后来又研究了以水色交融见长的、意象与表现兼具的风格。而这批作品的风格特征则显得更为内在和朴实,其审美趣味不再那么过于显露,而是更加含蓄和质朴。在延续了他一贯的简约、概括的风格之外,他将多年的艺术功力转化为了一种更自然和洗练的语言。作为一位同样探索水彩艺术多年的同道中人,我知道这批作品中语言的精妙之处:它们有点类似于齐白石的花鸟作品,看似简约,其实在每一点、线、面和干湿变化之中,蕴含了多样的绘画技巧,难得之处在于,这些技巧的运用,是招之即来而又不刻意彰显,于不经意间自然流露,相信每一位深入研究过绘画的人,都懂得其中的妙处,也懂得把握这种分寸的难处,没有生活和艺术上的长期积累,这种自然之境是难以达到的。

  从这批水彩风景写生作品中,我们看到的是一位成熟、大气、眼界开阔、对生活和艺术充满热情的艺术家。

  (作者系西方美术史学及方法论博士,教授)

 

Artistic Conception of Nature

  Painters show visual image on their works, in the meanwhile, there is no doubt that they express their own perception and attitude towards the world in a deeper level. Amongst the theories of contemporary western art, Sir E. H. Gombrich classified the pure visual image into the scope of “visual”, while put the “recognition and attitude towards the world” into “perceptive”. In fact, even in the works of impressionism and cool abstract expressionism – although authors themselves always claim that they only care about visual factor – these works will always entirely present the authors’ special attitude and their ways to watch and express. However, in traditional Chinese painting theory, the tenet of “externally learn from the nature, inherently combine one’s perception” explicates the fast path towards a high ambit of painting art, in the simplest and most direct way.

  Because of the above reasons, when we carefully savor a painter’s works, we will not only get indulged in the visual formal scenery, but also influenced by certain spiritual image in the picture. Surely, there is one requisition that the painter should master enough drawing techniques and skills, with a pure sincere attitude.

  Mr. Zhang brings us plenty of thoughts through the watercolor paintings from nature in Argun, Inner Mongolia.

  First of all, from the group of small-sized works, we can see the author’s purity in creating.

  The mental status shown in the works - stay close to nature, live a simple life and get rid of dissimulation - is also the pith of scenery paintings. In recent years, China watercolors have made significant development. However, there are also some serious problems, for example, some artists always put all their effort in choosing subjects and formal languages, while neglecting the communication between art, soul and life. Presumably, based on his art practice for years and his experience and understanding from gaining national prizes, Mr. Zhang has chosen another art attitude. From the works, we can see that no matter view selection, composition, detailed description, they all present the natural and relaxed status of a mature painter. The feeling of audience raised by this type of works is always warm and joyful. Only when those works are created in a natural way, can they raise the same resonance of audience. These works fully shows the author's characteristics, talent, and his perception of life and art.

  What we can also feel, through the group of watercolor paintings from nature, is the author's the aesthetic pursuit. Generally speaking, from the perspective of watching and appearance, author chose a pure and common aesthetic interest. It is neither a pursuit for a special elegance, nor a special novelty (in a place like Argun, the said beauty is abundant). The author pursued for the mediocrity and simpleness of the earth and farming life. From this particular perceptivity, the author felt familiar to this place. Small trees beside the lake, the wooden lodge with a tractor or several oil drums, the country covered snow and people riding horses, and nameless grass slope and hills - such description is not an appreciation and admiration from travelers and nature lovers, but a sense of ascription during the journey of life and art.

  As a painter exploring the art of watercolor painting for several tens of years, Mr. Zhang have tried several watercolor languages, and gained his own understanding and achievements in both groups of languages: the one focuses on reality and the other puts attention in expression. In the works, he made new changes to his language style. After his exploration of the precise and deep realistic style, several years ago, he then did research on a kind of style featuring the combination of water and color and covering both image and performance. In particular, these works show a more inherent and plain style, which has a more implicated aesthetic interest, instead of being overly apparent. Beyond continuing his consistent simple style, Mr. Zhang transformed his capability in art accumulated for years to a new language, more natural and more succinct. Since I've also explored the watercolor art for years, I could tell the wonderful point of the languages – similar to the flower-and-bird paintings of Qi Baishi, they are easy and simple on the surface, but actually, various drawing skills are hidden in each point, line and space, and the change of damp degree. What’s more important, these skills are used in a natural way - a subtle and natural expression that easily comes but not purposively. Everyone who has researched the drawing art must understand the best within it, as well as the difficulty of making a rational utilization – without an insisted accumulation from life and art, it is impossible to reach such an artistic conception of nature.

  From the group of watercolor paintings from nature, we can see a mature artist, with his mind and horizon open, being full of energy for life, and for art.

  Dai Xiaoman

  (the Professor and Doctor in Western Art History and Methodology)

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