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【评论】熠熠生辉的生命礼赞---邵增虎的风景油画

2012-05-16 11:02:01 来源:《南方油画名家:邵增虎风景油画集》作者:胡斌
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  说到风景画,我们看过唯美怡情的小品,也看过气势恢宏的巨制,但如邵增虎这般早年以人物画行世,后期却能以刀代笔,凭着热辣辣的色彩辟出一片激昂奔放的风景天地的例子实属少见。曾有人问邵增虎放下人物画风景是不是想图轻松,的确,不少曾创作过人物画巨作、力作的油画家到了后期习惯以图绘小幅风景作为休闲的一种方式,邵增虎显然不是,转向风景画一是缘于超脱纷争、复归宁静的心境转换,同时也蕴含着他力图在另一题材领域攀登高峰的抱负。谁说风景画就不能出丰碑一样的伟作呢?

  正因为如此,邵增虎的心态放松了,但是所做的活儿并不轻松。那铿锵有力的造型,那重重堆叠、凝重厚实的色彩,那近观满是“短兵相接”的刀痕,远观则形象豁然显现的景观,分明保持着与其人物画一致的精神气脉和力度。

  仔细说来,他画面里的形体塑造非常凝练,树冠、房舍、老墙、草垛、牛群都有着雕塑般的坚实感。他的色彩特别高亢、响亮,往往以深色来衬托艳丽的亮色,深如黑漆,亮到夺目;又选择秋景居多,那个时节到处都是红彤彤的树叶,他为这种暖色调着迷,他要画出秋天的绚烂热烈,丝毫也不见惯常秋景的哀婉、惆怅之意。他的画面有强烈的构成感,他有意识地挖掘自然之景中某些序列化的局部,比如垒起的木材,成排的木栅栏,星罗棋布的群石,林中挺立的树干等等。再有,他笔下的风景多为平常之景,桦树林,河谷,池塘,牛马,村庄,如是而已;又多刻画小景,灌木一簇,农舍一角,棱棱山石,斑斑树痕……这些最平常又最纯粹的农村小景,正是作者最心仪的所在。对家乡的依恋,尤其是对放牛生活的深切记忆,让他的风景中经常出现牛群的身影,那是乡村劳作的得力助手和村童亲切的玩伴,憨厚温纯却有时又异常倔强。可见,他所绘的是与自己儿时追忆相匹配的农村,或者说是久处尘嚣之中所向往的诗意的乡野,而不是那在城镇化的道路上一日千里的“黄金地”。

  众所周知,探讨人与自然的关系是中西方绘画当中的永恒主题之一。但因为思维方式和价值理念的不同,中西方文明在反映自然方面演绎出不同的绘画形式,一为山水画,一为风景画。油画作为舶来品,在很大程度上沿承了西方的绘画体系。就风景画而言,如果依此脉络,邵增虎所展现的不是静穆辽阔、忧伤哀婉的郊外风情,也不是远离尘世、发幽古之思的理想化风景,作为接受过严格的苏派绘画教育的那代艺术家,他的风景画还是带有苏派风景明快、率阔、奔放的格调,尤其与以丰富的色彩配置和独特的肌理效果为主要标志的弗拉基米尔画派有着某种神似。他们综合了民间色彩的强烈率真与装饰色的优点,又使用各种方式形成颜色的厚重感,以创造出匠心独具的迷人风格(胥荆《情如潮涌 景似幻出——苏联弗拉基米尔画派简介》)。但是,在邵增虎那里,民间自然是中国的民间,而同样是厚深法,他多用画刀纵横涂抹,形成累累砍斫的肌理效果,极富视觉震撼。他那斑斓的色彩,又让人联想到以光色表达为主要特征的印象派,但是印象派以绚丽色彩构成的缤纷世界是来自于对物象上自然光线之微妙变化的研究所得,而邵增虎的风景极其直接、朴拙,他更多的是凭着自己的直觉率性驱遣,色块简约概括,少见琐细的变化。造型的雄浑有力,对坚实厚重结构的强调,则有些后印象派的味道,或许与他所推崇的、特别讲求塑造物的结构感的同乡王肇民也不无关系。他那好似层层堆叠的物景还让人联想到素以黑、密、厚、重著称的水墨画同乡黄宾虹,“作品浑厚华兹,意境幽深,使人近看有浑厚之气,远看层次井然”,但那分明是一种潜藏的力量积蕴,不是这般的雄强、硬朗、激情洋溢的情形。

  与许多中国的油画同行一样,邵增虎也在致力于油画本土化的探索。但是,他的风景画中的东方意味不是来源于传统的造型与构图方式,又或者是色泽迷离的水墨意趣,更多的是一种东方的,特别是朴实的中国农村的情怀。他的画面里没有贵族气的思绪发散,没有猎奇式的异域采风,他就是那片热土上的一份子,在这些平凡的景致中包含着一种质朴的诗意和博大的情感。

  这种情感说到底是对所面对的生命的由衷讴歌。如果联系到他之前的人物画,尤其是反思“文革”期间中国知识分子所遭受的残酷摧残与悲剧命运的那幅《农机专家之死》,我们可以看到,邵增虎对于生命的生长与凋落饱含深情。只是在这里,他是要热情地赞美大自然的生命力以及抒发对家乡故土的赤子之心。不少评论家将他创作中的这种力度和率性,与其军旅生涯、军人体魄及性格相联系。我想,纯朴而艰辛的农村生活,严厉的父亲教导,部队锻炼的经历,都是磨砺他坚韧不拔的品质的重要因素,但我觉得其生活观、艺术观的生成更多的还是与他们这代人的时代背景有关。他经历过多重的社会苦难,也感受过最炽热的情感,他最深刻地体会到大时代的跌宕起伏,因而也就能够以广阔的胸怀去面对生活。艰难时代的淘洗塑就其乐观、积极、坚强不屈的斗志,所以他是那样有力地投入到主流创作当中,又是那样有力地对我们社会的苦难进行反省与批判。他触碰到了这个社会、这个时代的筋骨和灵魂,正因为有这般的体悟,所以,他能够超越那种俗世生活的细枝末节,迎着太阳发出自己最富激情的呐喊。相比我们现在的那些要么孱弱矫情,要么只是空洞的符号漂浮而缺乏真情实感的表达,这是一种久违的力量之美。

  2012年2月6日于广州晓港湾

  胡斌  (广州美术学院美术史系副教授、中国艺术研究院博士)

  The Tribute to Brilliant Life

  Shao Zenghu’s Landscape Oil Painting

  By Hu Bin

  (Vice-professor of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Doctor of Chinese National Academy of Arts)

  People usually see either small delicate works or magnificent large-scale works when it comes to Landscape painting. However, Mr. Shao Zenghu’s landscape oil paintings are rarely-seen on the ground that he has created passionate, unchained landscape oil paintings with palette knife instead of painting brushes in recent years even if he was renowned for his figure painting in the early years. People once asked if he gave up figure painting and began painting landscape in order to keep relaxed. Indeed, many painters who once created large-scale figure paintings have turned to small landscape painting as a way of leisure in their later years while Mr. Shao Zenghu is obviously different. The mental state towards tranquility far from disputes and the ambition to explore in another field sustain his turn for landscape creation. Who can affirm there are no great landscape oil paintings?

  For this reason, Mr. Shao Zenghu has relaxed his state of mind, but how to depict landscape oil painting is not an easy job. There are only solid modeling and the impasto texture of the paint made by palette knife if we watch his works closely, while landscape clearly appears when we look at them at a distance. The style shows vitality and vigor consistent with his figure painting.

  Specifically speaking, the concise modeling of Mr. Shao Zenghu’s paintings such as tree-crown, house, old wall, haystack and cattle are as solid as sculpture while the colors are brilliant because of the darkness which serves as a foil to bright colors. Drunk with the warm tone of red leaves in autumn, he prefers to depict autumn landscapes so that he can express the warmth and brilliance of autumn rather than the usual sorrow and melancholy of it. He has also selected the systematic parts of natural landscape such as piled-up logs, wooden fence in rows, and star-studded stones in order to show a strong sense of composition and design. Further more, these ordinary rural landscapes such as birch woods, valleys, pools, cattle, horses and villages are usually lesser  scene, and clusters of shrubs, part of farmhouse, rocks and stones, mottled trees are Mr. Shao Zenghu’s favorite. He often depicts good-natured and unyielding cattle that are his companions and helpful rural labor because of his attachment for hometown, especially for the unforgettable pasture life. To some extent, what he has portrayed is either the rural life in his childhood or the yearning for rural life which is far from the crowd, but not the golden land under commercial speculation on the urbanization.

  As is well-known, one eternal theme of Chinese and western painting is to explore the relationship between human and nature. However, respective painting categories appeared in Chinese and western civilization due to different way of thinking and values. One is traditional Chinese landscape painting, the other is landscape painting. However, Chinese oil painters have learned much more from western painting system than traditional Chinese landscape painting. On the basis of it, Mr. Shao Zenghu’s landscape oil paintings are neither solemn and sorrowful countryside style nor the ideal landscape returning to the ancients. Since Mr. Shao Zenghu received strict training of the Soviet Union’s painting in his early years, the lucid, lively and unrestrained style of his works insinuates the influence of the Vladimir School which is characterized with rich color juxtaposition and unique texture. They created a unique charming style by integrating forthrightness and sincerity of folk color with the advantages of decorative color, and formed thick texture of colors in various ways. (Xu Jing "Burst of feelings like flowing of tide and landscape appears to be an illusion” --- brief introduction to the Vladimir School of the Soviet Union) Obviously, the folk refers to Chinese folk in Mr. Shao Zenghu’s mind. The vertical or horizontal texture made by palette knife has a strong visual impact and the brilliant colors also recall the works of the Impressionist School characterized by light and color expression. However, the impressionist School’s world filled with rich colors was based on capturing the subtleties of natural light while Mr. Shao Zenghu’s landscape oil painting that is largely triggered by his intuition seems to be extremely direct and modest because of the concise color patches without trivial changes; moreover, the accentuation on solid, thick modeling seems to approach the Post-Impressionist. Perhaps what Mr. Shao Zenghu bears in mind---the pursuit of the molding structure is associated with his fellow townsman, Wang Zhaomin while the multi-layers of colors also remind people of his another fellow townsman, Huang Binhong who is famous for his ink painting that is black, dense and thick. “Huang Binhong’s thick ink works communicate a sense of tranquility, and the simple and vigorous moods appear if people watch them closely while everything is organized if people look at his works at a distance.” But Huang Binhong’s ink works contain potential strength after years of accumulation which is not as strong and passionate as Mr. Shao Zenghu’s works.

  Mr. Shao Zenghu has also explored in oil painting’s localization like many other Chinese oil painters. However, the oriental taste in his landscape oil paintings does not origin from traditional Chinese style, or ink painting, but from the modest feelings towards the orient, especially Chinese countryside. There is no aristocrat bearing and exotic depiction seeking novelty in his landscape works since he is pursuing modest poetic charm and vast feelings from ordinary scenery.

  In a word, Mr. Shao Zenghu is singing praise for life from the bottom of his heart. For example, people can figure out that Mr. Shao Zenghu has deep feelings for the growth and perish of life from his figurative painting Death of the Agricultural Machinery Expert which is the reflection on the history of "the Cultural Revolution" when many Chinese intellectuals suffered a lot. Meanwhile, he is passionately depicting the vigor of nature and expressing the love for his homeland. Numerous art critics held the point that his military experiences, strong physique and personality played a major role in the form of his landscape style. However, I believe although hard rural life, his father’s strict instruction and military experience were essential to the development of his firm character, his outlook on life and art largely attribute to the hard times he experienced. To some extent, the hard time witnessed his optimism, enthusiasm and perseverance because he underwent all sorts of hardships and deprivations, and inevitably felt the most intense emotion. He did well in creating large theme works and inventing great works reflecting the reality as long as he confronted with life in a broad mind and touched the soul of times. With the perception in mind, he uttered the most passionate voice beyond the mundane. Therefore, his landscape oil paintings show long-absent aesthetics of strength that is contrary to the weakness and hypocrisy as well as to the expression with empty symbols lack of true feelings.

  In Xiaogangwan, Guangzhou on February 6, 2012

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