Melancholia I 3
Man stands at the centre of Hanneke Beaumont’s artistic creations. Her lifesize figures in terracotta, bronze or iron are supra-individual characters, covered as in a second skin with simple garments. Neither their sex nor age is discernible. Beaumont does not create a portrait, she visualizes through her sculpture the spiritual condition of Man. In “Blickachsen 7” she presents an installation consisting of two figures, each kneeling on their own minimalistic steel base. In this composition, entitled “Melancholia I” – recalling Albrecht Dürer’s engraving of the same name – Beaumont, as she remarks herself, is thematizing the creative process of sculpture. The finished black bronze figure – Melancholia – is observing, in a moment of contemplative pause, her own image in cast iron, with its rough, unworked surface. She is remembering “what was, and is no more”: the unfinished sculpture. At the same time she sees ‘what will be’ – the weather-beaten surface of the future. Here, according to Beaumont, Melancholia’s gaze is directed at the past, the present, and the future.