Exhibition"Retrospectieve Léon Spilliaert" Guillaume Campo, Antwerp 1965, cat. nr. 146
"Tussen eb en vloed. Marines, dijk- en strandperspectieven" Het Spilliaert Huis, Ostend 2017, reprod. on the invitation of the exhibition
LiteratureTo be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné by Mrs. Anne Adriaens-Pannier
ProvenanceBlanquaert-Verscheuren family, Ostend (acquired directly from the artist)
SPILLIAERT AND THE SEA
The sea is Spilliaert's loyal travel companion throughout his entire oeuvre. Sometimes she is ominous and unpredictable, sometimes warm and receptive. She is constantly changing, through storm and sun, through ebb and flow. The sea, evoking distant memories and deep feelings, is the mirror of the soul.
Like his early seascapes, this "Seascape, pale green horizon" (1930) also depicts Spilliaert's inclination towards abstraction. Large color fields representing beach, sea, clouds and sky, barely separated from each other with a simple line, form an almost geometric composition. The serene forms are intruded only by the bizarre steel-gray puddle on the front right with its erratic contours.
The anecdotal is growing more and more important from the end of the 1920s. The artist is sensitive to seemingly banal details provoked by nature that also have a remarkable aesthetic effect. "Marine, pale green horizon" shows a sea draining away from the shore and taking along the dark clouds. Behind them the sun waits impatiently to spread its light over the beach. The world is ready for a new day. But the night-time darkness, with its secrets and memories, still wanders over the beach where it leaves its puddle-form mark, relict of the flood that has disappeared. In spite of gloomy colors, hope cautiously breaks through, but not without a hint of melancholy.