Reverie


The mahogany sculpture displays the wide possibilities of the wood from which it is made: from a polish exposing the texture of the wood and spotlighting the smooth fluidity of the forms, to a dynamic and breathing roughened surface with traces of chisel work. The combination of these techniques, so popular in sculpture of the late-19th and early-20th centuries, fits well with the work’s symbolical meaning. A hunched female figure is seated on the ground, her knees pressed against her chest, her hands clasped around her knees, and the face hidden – her aspirations are obviously directed towards another world, the beyond. This inward-looking figure is characterized by its rhythms. It is impossible to sleep in such position, whereas the emotions holding sway over the woman are easily identifiable. The slow motion of the flowing forms would have looked sad was it not for the sharply-bent joints, which add an edge, even heartbreak to the overall desolate mood, and yet these rhythms do not reach the height of drama because of their quietness. The measured pace of the reverse motion is reinforced by the texture of the chiselled plinth. It can be assumed that the woman is in the grip of melancholic reveries capable of bringing forth a creative dynamic, one which remains hidden up to a certain moment.

 

Brief annotations to the image

REVERIE, according to Vladimir Dal, is a dream, fancy, phantasm, delusion, a work of imagination in a sleeping dream, in fever or in reality. The Oxford Dictionary explains reveries as a mental “wandering” of imagination in a wakeful state. Symbolism holds up reveries as the banner of the movement; in Symbolism reveries, unlike day-dreams and sleeping dreams, are a creative and productive state of the mind on the frontier between the worlds.