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经济学人下载: 眼前的黑不是黑(2)

Source: Economist    2020-11-20  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

The latest attempt to plumb these depths comes from Anish Kapoor, a British- Indian artist whose work questions notions of perception. He has co-opted a revolutionary black material which, he hopes, will break completely new ground. “I’m really invested in the process of what is real and what is not real,” Mr Kapoor says. “What is an appearance? What’s a trick? What’s an illusion?” 

印裔英国科学家安尼什·卡普尔对黑色进行了最新的探索,他在作品中质疑感知的概念。他还使用了一种具有革命意义的黑色物质,他希望这种物质将开辟出一个全新的领域。卡普尔表示,“我是真的全身心投入到探索过程中。探索什么是虚实?什么是表象?什么是错觉?什么是幻想?”

The discovery in ancient Egypt, China and Rome that writing (and, later, printing) worked best when black was used on a white background gives black a special place in the pantheon of colours. But before the concoction in Europe of black ink from gall nuts (tumours that grow on trees where insects have laid eggs), real black was hard to conjure up. The early artists in France’s Lascaux caves drew crude animals and human figures with charcoal, which sometimes washed away. Most confected blacks, especially fabric dyes, produced a muddy purply-grey or brown at best. 

古埃及、古代中国和古罗马的人类发现,用黑色在白色背景上书写(以及后来的印刷)的效果最佳,这使得黑色在色谱中占据特殊地位。但在欧洲人使用五倍子(昆虫在树上产卵留下的树瘤)配制出黑色墨水之前,人们很难想象出真正的黑色是什么样子的。法国早期艺术家们在拉斯科洞窟中用木炭画出粗糙的动物和人物的画像,但有时会被水流冲淡。大多数调制而成的黑色,尤其是织物染料的黑色,充其量只能产出浑浊的紫灰色或棕色。

It was only when black pigments—made from coal, lampblack or even burned ivory— were successfully mixed with gum arabic or linseed oil that it became possible to create the black gloss that many European artists came to love. Caravaggio revolutionised Baroque painting with his studies of darkness; yet it was the Spaniards of a generation later, when black was the colour of high fashion, who made black painting all their own, starting with the power portraits of Diego Velázquez and the brooding figures that haunt the tall works of Francisco de Zurbaran. “Black became the colour of distinction,” Philip Ball, the author of “Bright Earth: Art and the Invention of Colour”, has said. It wasn’t only a hue in its own right, artists realised, but an enlivener of other colours.

只有将用煤、灯黑、或者甚至燃烧过的象牙制成的黑色颜料与阿拉伯树胶或亚麻籽油成功混合,才有可能创造出许多欧洲科学家喜爱的黑亮。卡拉瓦乔利用对暗色的研究革新了巴洛克绘画;而下一代的西班牙艺术家创造出了自己的黑色绘画,当时,黑色是高端时尚的颜色,由迭戈·韦拉斯克斯的名人肖像画,以及弗朗西斯科·德·苏巴朗描绘沉思人物形象的高大作品拉开序幕。《明亮的泥土:颜料发明史》的作者菲利普·鲍尔曾说:“黑色是与众不同的颜色。”艺术家们意识到,黑色不仅是一种色调,还能使其他颜色更具活力。


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