Friday afternoon my tutorial took place in a new arena, the Art Gallery of NSW. Within the gallery, it holds many unique and meaningful 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional pieces that entice the eye of the beholder.
A piece that struck a cord with me was Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s painting the “Three Bathers” which was created in 1913. Kirchner was an essential part of the German history of expressionism. This can be vividly seen within this painting that can have many different individual interpretations that come along with them. The reason I chose this artwork to speak about today was because whilst analysing its visual features I felt vulnerable as well, just like the women in the painting. It almost felt as if the skinny woman was stronger and had more confidence opposed to the larger woman.
At first glance, I saw three naked women, huddled together, one behind the other, upon the great blue waves that surrounded them in the framework. The longer I look the more I could identify. The women weren’t huddling they in fact were hiding behind each other. The scarce positioning of their eyes reveals their worry and the dispossession of their own emotions captured in that exact moment. Their body language hunched over and hiding also led on to portray a scared unknowing of what lies in the future. Using this mechanism of hunching down their backs and hiding would protect them from the unknown. The larger body size of the women the more vulnerable they became. When I identified this I became entirely appreciative of the artwork because it resonated something inside of me and I too would hide if I were the third woman. Another idea arose as the skinnier lady was placed at the front expressing the motion that the skinner woman is more comfortable and stronger in the body she was given. I see this artwork as both a foreshadowing of dark times ahead i.e. the war but as well giving the viewers a cloudy visual about female nudity and how it affects the women themselves. Are those issues connected or just a very thought through painting.