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I can’t stop thinking about these drawings by Jan Fabre. I saw them for the first time this week at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum’s show Ballpoint Pen Drawing Since 1950 and on looking into it more realized they are part of a series called The Years of the Hour Blue. Eerie but beautiful, sad but hopeful, they seem to capture visually a text that I love by writer Rebecca Solnit.
"The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water. Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue. The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance. This light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the color blue."
Image caption: Kasteel Tivoli / Schloss Tivoli, Jan Fabre, 1991. Serie: Het Uur blauw/ Die Blaue Stunde, Bic-Kugelschreiber auf Cibachrom und Holz, 1720 x 1250 mm. Privatsammlung © VBK, Wien 2010. Foto © Angelos
Text Excerpt: from Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost (Viking, 2005)

I can’t stop thinking about these drawings by Jan Fabre. I saw them for the first time this week at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum’s show Ballpoint Pen Drawing Since 1950 and on looking into it more realized they are part of a series called The Years of the Hour Blue. Eerie but beautiful, sad but hopeful, they seem to capture visually a text that I love by writer Rebecca Solnit.

"The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water. Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue. The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance. This light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the color blue."

Image caption: Kasteel Tivoli / Schloss Tivoli, Jan Fabre, 1991. Serie: Het Uur blauw/ Die Blaue Stunde, Bic-Kugelschreiber auf Cibachrom und Holz, 1720 x 1250 mm. Privatsammlung © VBK, Wien 2010. Foto © Angelos

Text Excerpt: from Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost (Viking, 2005)

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