Pears and personificationSeptember 27th, 2006
Here are two paintings of pears in which Hanneke van Oosterhout seems to express human personalities.
In the first painting, the pears seem innocent, perhaps prudish. In the second painting, the fruit is sensuous and, well, quite the opposite of prudish. In the first painting the pears seem not quite ripe. In the second painting, the surface of the pears shows they are at their sweetest, but will soon be too old.
Both paintings use a bowl to contain the pears. But the tone here is different as are the pears. In the first painting, the blue ceramic, broken and reassembled, has a world-weary character that forms an interesting contrast with the fruit. In the second painting, the bowl serves as a container, but is otherwise more neutral.
The neat folds of the cloth in the second painting are an interesting contrast with the wild disarray of the pears. In the first painting, the tabletop is more stark and hard.
These pictures make one think about what goes on in Hanneke’s mind. “I didn’t paint them like this on purpose!” she insists. I wonder if I believe that.