艺术品“轰炸（1937）”现在是美国宾夕法尼亚州费城的费城艺术博物馆保留的，是菲利普·古斯顿（Philip Guston，1913-1980年）的油画颜料。 1936年，第二次世界大战在欧洲酝酿中。许多美国艺术家并未对法西斯主义的兴起和入侵视而不见。在得知1936年西班牙内战期间发生暴行并造成数千人死亡和受伤之后，古斯顿还谴责了这场战争的残酷性并给轰炸画上了烙印。油漆描绘了佛朗哥战机的空中轰炸，以哀悼被战争夺走的生命。
The artwork “Bombardment (1937)”, which is now reserved in Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, USA, is an oil paint by Philip Guston (1913-1980). In 1936, the Second World War is brewing in Europe. Many American artists did not turn a blind eye to the rise and invasion of fascism. After hearing that atrocities carried out during the Spanish Civil War in 1936, resulting in thousands of death and wounded, Guston also condemned the cruelty of the war and painted Bombardment. The paint depicts the aerial bombardment by Franco’s warplanes, to mourn the life that was taken away by the war.
Standing in front of the artwork, you can hear the voice of screaming, feel the atmosphere of alarm and panic, and witness the final effort of the civilians to win a last chance of living. Man and woman, old and young, flesh and blood against the iron bombers, which remind people the artwork “Guernica” of Picasso. Carefully studying the artwork, each draw of line and each touch of color is telling the story of war and freezing the crucial moment to this piece of canvas paper.
There are many waving lines, curved lines in the artwork. You find fast no vertical or horizontal lines, which reply an atmosphere of turmoil and turbulence. In one sense, the artwork can be divided into two parts: the former part and the background. The line of the former part is clearly and delicately defined: the shirt of the woman is like waves; the red cloak of the man with mask on the right in the central part of the paint, and the light brown cloak of the man at the corner of upper left are both like water, the dark brown hair of naked man at the corner of lower is in curve. From one side, these lines show that the figures are fast running to escape the bombing; from the other side, these lines create a feeling of tense and restlessness. In the background, very vague lines, which consist of grey, white, light brown, are adopted to depict the bombing. The clearness in the front and vagueness in the background contrast sharply. Spherical is also an oft used line type in the paint, like the hips of the woman, the skull mask, which express the feeling of power.
What especially impresses me is that, the paint uses the traditional circle format, which is typically and widely used in the time of Italian Renaissance paintings. The circle format creates the atmosphere that the painter is watching with a distance. This kind of contrast makes the crucial of war even more. Besides, using the visual angle of God, Guston tried to create a more universal protest against war in the world rather than the war in Spain. Because of the circle format, the brick-red wall on the left side and the building on the right side are both twisted, just like the twisting world in the war.
From the aspect of mass, the artwork uses the laws of visual perspective——one-point perspective, creating an effect of three-dimensional. The whole street is covered up by the dust and fire of bombing, the point of bombing is just in the very center of the paint, like tornado with strong suction power. Everything can be sucked in the endless darkness. The work is flat, but the artist uses his skill and created the illusion of spatial depth.
From the perspective of shaping the figures, there are no complete faces showed in the paint. Everyone is turning back to see the process of explosion. This kind of detail lets the paint full of motion. Although we can’t see the faces of the figures, but still can feel their fear.
The paint adopts chiaroscuro: a contrast of light and dark, the background including the sky, the street, the wall and the building is grey, five figures in the front air in light, which are not naturally enlightened by sunlight but by the fire of bombing. Because we can clearly detect that the weather is cloudy. The darkest area in the paint is the sky, the lightest area are the three figures in the middle und lower part of the paint, which means for me that, humans are full of glory, war is to damn.
When observing the colors in the picture, I can see red, light brown, blue, green, brick red. Red, green and light brown take up big area in the paint. These colors are normally bright, but Guston used tints or shades of the colors, making them darker and colder. We can feel that these figures in the paint are coming from a vivid real life, which is now covered with grey shadow.
The artist unifies the elements of lines, light, color, shapes, motion and created the balance of the whole paint——balance of motion and static, balance of dark and light, balance of colors. The balance exists in the integrity of the work. As the overall structure is round, if we only take a part of it out, the balance is broken. The woman in green skirt and the man in red cloak are heavier than the other three figures in the paint, making the power on the left and right side almost equivalent. The right and left sides, the upper and under sides are almost symmetrical balance. It gives people a first impression of messy balance, namely a balance in a mess.
From the whole paint, contrast makes the paint very impressive from three aspects. Firstly, the figures in the front are emphasized with delicate lines, large color blocks, light, which makes contrast to the background, the wall on the left side and the building on the right side, the bombing behind running people, the bombers in the sky, the running people on the street, which are in dark color. The dark color makes this area not prominent, and serves to manifest the figures in the front. Secondly, the panic of the crowd is a contrast to the orderly arranged bombing aircrafts, letting me feel the barbarism of the bombers and the helplessness of the civilians. Thirdly, the figures in the paint are partly naked and partly well dressed, which indicates that the explosion occurred without prediction. The child in the arm of his mother is still in sleep. The noisy of the outsider world and the quiet of child form sharp contrast. The work captured a single moment of the war, namely the bombe is exploding. The time is static but creates a feel of flowing.
All in all, with the arrangement of elements, this paint reveals the misery of the civilian and their tiny in front of the iron weapons and the war. Peace should be good reserved, otherwise, the human being will fall into deep darkness.