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未完成的艺术 – 译学馆
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未完成的艺术

Art That Was Never Finished

A few years ago,
几年前
I saw an exhibition at the Met Breuer Museum
我在纽约大都会现当代展品馆
in New York about unfinished art.
看了一个关于未完成的艺术的展览
The show included work from the Renaissance through the 21st century,
这个展览囊括了从文艺复兴到21世纪的作品
and it really moved me–like,
它真的感动了我
so much that I bought the hulking book that accompanied the show.
因此 我买了随展览推出的那本厚重的书
I mean you could do bicep curls with this thing
我是说 你可以用这本书做二头肌弯曲
and get reasonably fit.
并能得到适度的锻炼
But when I look at a painting like The Virgin and Child with St. John and Angels,
但是当我看到《圣母子以及圣约翰和天使》 这样的画作时
I am reminded first that art is made by people.
我首先想到的是 艺术是人创造的
We don’t know why this was left unfinished–
我们不知道这幅画为什么没有完成
it may have been that a patron flaked,
可能是因为某位赞助人停止赞助了
or that a more interesting opportunity arose.
或者一个更有趣的机会出现了
Artists are not like geniuses who are fundamentally different from the us,
艺术家并不是那种从根本上就和我们不同的天才
but human beings who live in time and space.
而同样是生活在时空中的人
Like any of us, great artists are both making history and being subjected to it.
和我们一样 伟大的艺术家在创造历史的同时也具有历史局限性
Like us, they sometimes fail to finish things because they get bored,
和我们一样 他们有时没完成一些事 可能出于厌倦
or because they discover a problem they can’t figure a way around,
或是发现了一个难以解决的问题
or because they receive word that a loved one is sick
或是收到来信说他们所爱之人生病了
and they must abandon the work to care for them.
必须放弃工作去照顾他们
Still, there can be so much wonder and beauty to unfinished art–
未完成的艺术作品仍然有很多奇妙与美丽之处
the figures to our left just coming into being,
左边的人物正在形成
almost sculptural in their outline.
轮廓几乎已经被塑造出来
In the center of the picture,
在画面的中间
Mary is trying to hold a book away from the baby Jesus,
玛利亚正试图把书拿得离婴儿耶稣远一点
which 16th century viewers would have known to be part of Book of Isaiah
16世纪的观者可能知道 这是《以赛亚书》中的一部分
that foretells of a messiah “pierced for our transgressions”
书中一个弥赛亚预言他将“为我们的过犯受害”
and “crushed for our iniquities.”
“为我们的罪孽压伤”
Even when your kid is the son of God,
即使你的孩子是上帝之子
I guess you still wanna protect him from suffering.
我猜你还是想让他免受折磨
Other times, the historical significance of an artwork is
一些时候 一个艺术品本身的历史价值
not so much the work itself as its context.
可能没有它体现的历史语境的价值高
Like, in the United States, we have a tradition of the Official Presidential Portrait.
好比说 在美国 我们有创作官方总统肖像的传统
And with the major exception of Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of President Obama,
除了Kehinde Wiley所作的奥巴马总统的肖像这个特例以外——
most of these portraits are–I’ll put this charitably–
我很乐意给你们看看——其他大多数的总统肖像
competent but uninteresting.
看起来都很能干 但乏味
It’s like, I’m touching papers;
就好像 我在触摸文件
I’m also touching papers;
我也是
I prefer holding my paper;
我更喜欢拿着文件
as do I;
我也是
I’m touching papers while holding my place in a book and so on.
尽管我的手放在书页中 我也在触摸文件 等等
Anyway, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s official presidential portrait is exactly as you’d expect.
不管怎样 富兰克林•德拉诺•罗斯福的官方总统肖像就是你所预想的那样
It’s, you know, competent.
你知道 看起来能干
But by far my favorite painting of FDR is this unfinished watercolor,
但目前 我最喜欢的罗斯福肖像是这幅由俄裔美国艺术家
painted by the Russian-American artist Elizabeth Shoumatoff
Elizabeth Shoumatoff于1945年4月创作
in April of 1945.
但没有完成的水彩画
FDR was seated at a card table, and Shoumatoff had only been painting for a little while
罗斯福坐在一张牌桌旁 但画家只画了一会儿
when the President said, “I have a terrific pain in my head,” and collapsed.
总统说:“我的头很疼” 然后昏倒了
He died later that afternoon.
那天下午晚些时候 总统去世了
Shoumatoff never completed the painting,
Shoumatoff一直没能完成这幅画作
but she did later made a finished portrait based from memory.
但她之后根据回忆完成了一副肖像画
And in that finished portrait, of course, the President is holding paper.
当然 在那幅完成的作品中 总统手里拿着文件
Both portraits romanticize a frail old man–
两幅画像都美化了这个体弱的老男人
I mean the day before, Roosevelt looked like this in a photograph.
我是说这之前 罗斯福是照片里这个样子
But to me anyway Shoumatoff’s unfinished portrait is more arresting and powerful
但对我来说 相比于完成的肖像 Shoumatoff没有完成的这幅
than her completed one.
更加具有吸引力 更加有力
It’s a fierce and riveting reminder that–
它是个强烈且极具吸引力的提醒
to quote the last word of another U.S. president–“we are all going”
用另一位美国总统的遗言来说就是 “我们都已离开”
[Ding]
[叮]
The unfinished painting’s power is partly in its historical context, of course.
当然 这幅未完成的画作的力量一定程度上来自于它的历史背景
I mean, if the artist had quit at this moment because she had a hand cramp,
我是说 如果画家当时因为手抽筋而放弃画像
the picture wouldn’t mean as much.
这副画就没那么有意义
But then, all art is context-dependent.
所有的艺术都依赖于语境
Really, all everything is context-dependent.
真的 所有事都依赖于语境
In a similar vein, I love Benjamin West’s unfinished painting Treaty of Paris,
相似地 我喜欢本杰明•韦斯特没有完成的画作《巴黎条约》
which was supposed to commemorate the treaty and the US Revolutionary War.
它本是用来纪念条约和美国独立战争的
Leaders of the American independence movement, including Benjamin Franklin,
它描绘了包括本杰明•富兰克林在内的美国独立运动的领导人
are depicted here, but the British delegation refused
但大不列颠的代表团拒绝
to pose for a picture to commemorating their defeat.
为一幅纪念他们失败的画作摆出姿势
Other times, work goes unfinished because the artist dies.
有时作品未完成是因为艺术家的离世
Such was the case with Laura Knight’s Unfinished Portrait of Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit,
这样的例子包括Laura Knight未完成的Vijayalakshmi Pandit的肖像
former president of the UN General Assembly.
她是联合国大会的前任主席
Or this Gustav Klimt painting called The Bride, which was left incomplete when Klimt
或是这幅古斯塔夫•克里姆特在1918年死时没能完成的《新娘》
died in 1918, as a result of a global flu pandemic.
他死于1918年一场全球流感
And then there is the gut wrenching story behind Ford Madox Brown’s painting
在福特•马多克斯•布朗的画作《带上你的儿子 先生》背后
“Take Your Son, Sir,”
有一个令人揪心的故事
which showed his wife Emma holding their newborn son Arthur.
画面中画家的妻子爱玛抱着他们刚出生的儿子亚瑟
Brown abandoned the painting in 1857,
1857年 十个月大的亚瑟夭折了
when Arther died at just ten months old.
布朗放弃了继续完成画作
In this way, an unfinished painting
这种情况下 一幅未能完成的画作
can be a kind of memorial to an unfinished life.
也是一种没能延续的生命的纪念
When I look at this painting,
当我观赏这幅画作的时候
I’m reminded of Kafka’s novel The Castle,
我想到了卡夫卡的长篇小说《城堡》
which was left unfinished when Kafka died at 40 of tuberculosis.
卡夫卡四十岁时因肺结核去世 所以《城堡》也未能完成
The Castle ends, “She spoke with great difficulty, it was difficult to understand her,
《城堡》的最后一句是“她说话很吃力 要费很大劲才能听懂她的话
but what she said”.
但她所说的”
And that’s the end.
这就是结尾
We’ll never know what she said,
我们永远不可能得知她说了什么
just like we will never know what Arthur’s life might have been.
就像我们永远不会知道亚瑟的生活可能会怎样
Unfinished paintings can also be important to curators and conservators
对于想要了解艺术史的策展人和修复人员来说
trying to understand art history.
未完成的画作也很重要
Like, take for example this Perino del Vaga painting of
以Perino del Vaga的这幅画作
the Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist.
《圣家庭与施洗者约翰》
You can see the map the artist laid out, known as underdrawing, and in doing so glimpse
你可以看到艺术家绘制的图 也就是所谓的素描
some of the techniques used to construct perspective and facial features.
由此可以窥见构建透视和面部特征的手法
As Met curator Kelly Baum put it,
正如现当代展品馆的策展人Kelly Baum所说
“An unfinished painting is almost like an X-ray,
“一幅没有完成的画作就像X光
which allows you to see beyond the surface of the painting to what lies behind:
让你可以透过画作表面看到其背后的东西
earlier versions, preparatory sketches,
包括更早期的版本 画作草图
all the underlying architecture which is normally disguised and suppressed. “
以及所有通常已经被掩饰 覆盖的画作的底层架构
In that sense, unfinished paintings can become a kind of archaeology.
在这层意义上 未能完成的画作成了一种考古
Almost two thousand years ago, Pliny the Elder wrote in his Natural History,
大约两千年前 老普林尼在《自然史》中写到
“The last works of artists and their unfinished pictures …
“艺术家的最后一件作品和他们没能完成的画作
are more admired than those which they finished,
比他们已完成的作品更值得欣赏
because in them are seen the preliminary drawings left visible
因为在这些作品中可以看到草稿
and the artists’ actual thoughts.”
以及艺术家真正的想法”
And of course, unfinishness can also be an artistic choice.
当然 未完成也可以是一种出于艺术目的的选择
As it is in this portrait by Kerry James Marshall, where there is no black in the artist’s palette
好比说在这幅Kerry James Marshall的肖像画中 画家的调色板上没有黑色
and the paint-by-numbers work in the background remained unfinished.
背景中的数字油画作品也没有完成
The tradition of intentionally not finishing something–
这种有意地不全部完成的传统
sometimes known in art history circles as the “non finito”–
在艺术史圈中被称为“未完成状态”
is widespread in art history.
在艺术史中很普遍
The art historian Carmen Bambach has argued, for instance, that this astonishing portrait
艺术史学家Carmen Bambach提出 好比说这幅肖像画中
was considered complete if unfinished by Leonardo da Vinci.
即使莱昂纳多•达•芬奇没有完成这副作品 它看起来还是完整的
And this gets at a complex question in art and in life–
这就提出了一个艺术上 也是生活上的复杂问题
does something have to look finished to be complete?
事物必须看起来是已完成或是完整的吗?
My favorite artwork that explores that question
我最喜欢的探讨这个问题的一个艺术品
is Alice Neel’s James Hunter Black Draftee from 1965.
是爱丽丝•尼尔1965年的作品 《詹姆斯•亨特黑人新兵》
Neel met James Hunter less than a week before he was scheduled to fight in Vietnam
自尼尔和詹姆斯•亨特相识不到一周 亨特应美国军队的征召
after being conscripted into the U.S. Army.
前往越南作战
Hunter only showed up for one sitting with Neel,
亨特只和尼尔坐了一会儿
who eventually decided to sign the painting
尼尔最终决定在这幅画上署名
and declare it complete.
并宣布它已经完成
You can feel the worry and the weight of being forced into a war
不仅从肖像的面部细节 而且从素描的线条中也可以感受到
not just in the detailed face of the portrait, but also in its sketched lines.
被迫参战的焦虑与沉重心情
And while Neel’s finished paintings often shimmer with emotional ferocity,
尽管尼尔完成的画作往往也闪烁着强烈的情绪
this painting is especially haunting because of its incomplete finishedness.
但这幅画因为它的不完整使人更加难忘
And this goes way back in art history, like in the Renaissance,
这可以追溯到艺术史中 好比说文艺复兴时期
several artists employed the so-called Plinian signature,
一些艺术家使用普林尼式的签名
wherein they would use the Latin word “faciebat” when signing their work.
当他们在给自己的作品署名时会用拉丁文单词 “faciebat”
Roughly translated, instead of saying in Latin “This sculpture was made by me,”
大概地翻译一下就是他们不写“这件作品由我完成”
they would sign, “this sculpture was BEING MADE by me,”
而是写“这件作品之前正被我创造”
implying a permanent unfinishedness about it.
暗示着作品的未完成状态 可能永久保持
In fact, the only time Michelangelo ever signed a work, the Pieta,
事实上 米开朗基罗唯一一次使用未完成时态
he used that imperfect tense.
是在为《圣殇》署名时
The Pieta, of course, looks very very finished–
当然 《圣殇》看起来完成度非常非常高了
The crucified Jesus being held by his mother is so finely wrought
被钉死在十字架上的耶稣被他的母亲抱在怀中 形象塑造得很好
that you can see his ribs visible beneath his skin.
耶稣皮肤下的肋骨清晰可见
The gaunt, exposed Christ is starkly contrasted
赤裸枯瘦的基督
with Mary’s flowing, billowing robes.
和玛丽流动翻滚的长袍形成了强烈的对比
The abundance of life is holding the emaciation of death.
生命的丰裕拥着死亡的憔悴
It’s a hell of a sculpture.
这是一件雕塑杰作
But so are these, four famous unfinished sculptures
这四个未完成的雕塑
also attributed to Michelangelo.
也被认为是米开朗基罗的作品
The Pieta is made from marble,
《圣殇》是由大理石制成的
but these figures seem to be encased in marble,
但这些人物仿佛是被大理石包裹在其中
almost as if they are trying to emerge from it.
好像他们尽力从中显现身形
In these sculptures, known as “prisoners”or “slaves”,
在这些被称作《囚犯》或《奴隶》的雕塑上
chisel and mallet marks are still evident.
雕刻的痕迹还很明显
Michelangelo’s friend Giorgio Vasari wrote
米开朗基罗的朋友乔尔乔•瓦萨里写道
that the figures are emerging from the marble
这些人物从大理石中浮现
“as though surfacing from a pool of water.”
“就好像从池水中浮起”
You can feel how hard it is to make a sculpture,
你可以感受到制做雕塑的艰难
but you can also feel how hard it is to be a person–
还有为人的艰难
especially in this sculpture, commonly called “Atlas”,
尤其是在这个一般被称为“阿特拉斯”的雕塑作品中
because the headless figure is carrying so much weight.
因为这个没有头的人物负担了太多的重量
Who among us hasn’t on occasion felt a bit Atlasy?
我们中又有谁没在某刻感到身负重担难以承受呢?
Michelangelo famously once wrote that, “Beauty is the purgation of superfluities.”
米开朗基罗曾有句名言 “美是对多余之物的净化”
The perfectly polished, breathstealingly rich Pieta
被完美打磨过的 惊人丰富的《圣殇》
has been purged of all that is superfluous,
已经去除了所有的冗杂
but so I would argue have the “prisoners” or “slaves”.
但我认为《囚犯》或《奴隶》同样如此
Just enough of the marble is gone for us
这些大理石已足以
to feel the humanity of these sculptures–
让我们感受到雕塑中的人性
a reminder that art not need to be finished to be meaningful
提醒我们 艺术不是被完成才具有意义
Thanks to all of our patrons for supporting the art assignment,
感谢所有支持我们的艺术作业的赞助人
especially our grandmasters of the arts David Golden and Divideby Zero Collection.
尤其是 David Golden和Divideby Zero Collection的大师们

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视频概述

本视频探讨了艺术未完成的原因以及未完成的艺术的价值

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翻译译者

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VDVo9akCiQ

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