Remember me on this computer
Hanjo Schmidt
About this artwork
Study of a Pale Head
Acrylics on canvas
h.120cm w.100cm d.3cm
Nov 2013

Hanjo's Description: The head of a man with mouth and eyes shut.

well, the last three paintings are parts of a triptych. But it should exhibited in a room with Number three opposite to the entrance and number two on the left wall and Number one on the right one. So the viewer will be kind of surrounded by them.

And these are the small versions of the final ones which each will be 190 cm wide and 230 cm high.

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2013-02-05 05:52

That room you describe sounds like an artist's dream - the perfect exhibition opportunity. I'm wondering why you've chosen these images in particular to command that space? You've discussed the 3-dimensionality of the head but, in my view, by sucking in and tightening the telling wrinkles, you lose the character of the person, and instead they become death masks. Twilight as in the approach of darkness, nearing the end, and by the overpowering dimensions you're going to use - it's pointless to resist.

On the other hand, these paintings remind me a little of a fellow countryman of yours (from the same region as you), a sculptor from another era LINK, Franz Messerschmidt. Were you influenced by his work?

2013-02-05 10:36

Well, the perfect exhibition opportunity. That’s what we are working on for our show in October 2013 here in Stuttgart. We that is two other artists and me. So it will be a group show of our big formats. And as you guessed already it is meant to overwhelm. So saying it’s pointless to resist is a good description indeed.

As to the character of a person. I doubt that one can deduce the “real” character of a person from looking at a picture showing a so called relaxed face only, like in a passport photography. The face is our most excellent communication and expression tool. And it tells most precisely about your character when in motion. I once made the experience of having a pen friend with whom I had exchanged dozens of photos already but when we finally met in the flesh I could hardly recognize this friend. So in short, only when you have seen many of the possible expressions a face can make you might give an expertise about a character that has some foundation in it.

It’s a bit strange that normally we seem to be satisfied with so little diversification in expression. When it comes to age it looks as if we only know two sorts of it, young and old. But actually we are changing all the time. So neither young nor old is a very precise description. Monet spent almost all of his career in trying to catch and depict the change of the light in the course of the day. And something similar Turner was after.

Theoreticaly you could spend your whole career the same way with depicting only one single face in all its different expressions. And I’m not exactly talking about the extremes, the grimasses, Messerschmidt dealt with. I’m not after grimasses. I’m after expressions. So I worked on anger already, on disappointment, attention etc. Well, and now it’s seems to be about a kind of retreat into oneself. Something that Melville described as “the intense concentration of self in the immensity”. So for to answer your question: No, I was not influenced by Messerschmidt even though I think that he undertook a fascinating and very outstanding or singular task with his heads.


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