I was recently involved in a gallery talk series at my local art museum, which brought View of Basel and the Rhine by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner to my attention.
|View of Basel and the Rhine|
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
There is something about the slumped shoulders, the too big clothes, and the soft and rounded features that exudes gender ambiguity. I don't know what Kirchner intended, but I'll admit he probably didn't really intend genderqueerness necessarily. However, the painting exhibits a lot of ambiguity, so what I'm noticing isn't that far fetched. I mean, what is that animal? A horse-dog? What time of day is it? Why is the water all choppy? If it is about to storm why are the people not in a hurry to get inside? What angle is the light coming from? And the people aren't very defined either, especially their expressions. The pink on the sidewalk is really puzzling as well. One of the gallery talk participants suggested that it represents shadow.
What do you think? Does the same figure that I keep coming back to fascinate you too? If so, is it for the same reason--because his/her gender is hard to read? What do you think of the colors?