Seascape

7:00 AM

August Strindberg, Seascape, 1894

The harsh brushstrokes of Strindberg feel static, unmoving in the middle of what should be a tumultuous scene. After looking at the piece and taking it all in, I feel the current of these static waves pulling me upwards into the sky, carrying me through the waves. The piece itself is quite fluid even though it’s made up of such solid brushstrokes. Even the sky, horizon, and sea all blend together as one. Similar to Rothko’s work, each segment of the painting fights for its space on the canvas, drowning out the light and devouring any space left on the canvas.

Seascape reminds me of a certain scene in Being Dead, where Crace describes “a bay… subject - famously - to the wind. There was a constant drift of the air that ran along the coast, west - east, so that the dunes were sculpted and aligned like resting seals. Most days the dunes would hum as the wind hugged the scarp and dip across the bay.”

This type of motion presents itself in this piece, the movement of such solid lines making it all come to life. The darkness contrasted with the amber of the sun is striking, drawing the viewer in to such a chaotic scene. When I look at this piece I don't see a rough sea, but rather union, natural forces working together. This piece is fused together even by the methods used to burn the canvas. The corners blacken and deepen the contours, mimicking nature's power. For me, this is what makes this piece beautiful: the preparation, diligence and dedication to “ the creative forces in nature that we must all adhere to."

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