Zwischen zwei Kulturen

Indien und Ungarn: ZWISCHEN ZWEI KULTUREn

Die indisch-unagrische Künstlerin Amrita Sher-Gil (1913-1941) gilt als Vorreiterin der indischen Moderne. Ihre in Indien und Ungarn entstandenen Werke von alltäglichen Situationen, Landschaften, Tieren und Frauen geben ihren außergewöhnlichen Eindruck wieder.

Two Elephants

Abb. 1: Amrita Sher-Gil, Two Elephants, 1940, Öl auf Leinwand, 46 x 54,3 cm, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Die Künstlerin Amrita Sher-Gil lebte zwischen zwei Kulturen, der ungarischen, die Herkunft ihrer Mutter Marie Antoinette und der indischen, die ihres Vaters Umrao Singh. Diesen Zwiespalt, diese Suche nach Zugehörigkeit und Identität hat sie in ihren Werken thematisiert und womöglich sogar versucht, Verbindungen zwischen diesen beiden Heimaten, der indischen und der ungarischen, zu finden. Inwiefern lässt sich diese Thematik an ihren Werken festmachen? Können wir eine gewisse Aufarbeitung Sher-Gils im Umgang mit diesen zwei Heimaten an ihren Werken erkennen? Mit diesem Blogeintrag widmen wir uns heute, anhand von zwei unterschiedlichen Werkbeispielen, welche beide im Museum in New Delhi vorzufinden sind und etwa zur selben Zeit entstanden sind, diesen Fragen. Wir finden, diese Bilder sind gute, ausdrucksvolle Beispiele, um zu zeigen, wie sie ihre jeweilige Heimat wahrgenommen hat. Auf dem ersten Werk, „Two Elephants“, welches 1940 entstanden ist und ihre indische Herkunft zeigt, sind zwei Elefanten abgebildet. Sie füllen fast das komplette Bild, ein großer Elefant und dicht neben diesem ein weiterer, kleinerer Elefant. Aufgrund der Nähe der beiden Tiere, wirken sie wie Mutter und Kind. Die satten Farben rot, orange und schwarz, sowie ihre kräftige Pinselführung unterstreichen anhand ihrer Wärme die liebevolle Atmosphäre des Werkes. Warum entscheidet sich Sher-Gil für die Abbildung von Elefanten? Es könnte daran liegen, dass der Elefant eine Heiligkeit in Indien darstellt, unter anderem aufgrund des Elefantengottes „Ganesha“, der für das Göttliche im Hinduismus steht. Er gilt auch als „Herr der neuen Anfänge“[1], „Beseitiger von Hindernissen“[2] und als das Inbild von Kraft und Weisheit. Womöglich möchte sie also diese Seite Indiens, diesen optimistischen Glauben der indischen Menschen und ihre fast schon philosophische Lebens- und Denkweise hervorheben. Das ungarische Werk, „Hungarian Village Market“ von 1939 zeigt eine ungarische Dorfmarkt-Szene. Wie typisch für viele ihrer Bilder, ist auch dieses Werk in dunklen Tönen gehalten, dieser Aspekt unterstreicht auch hier wieder die Atmosphäre des Bildes, die aufgrund der kahlen Bäume und Bekleidung der Marktbesucher relativ melancholisch und dämmrig wirkt. Die abgebildeten Figuren sitzen auf Holzkarren, laufen umher, kaufen ein und sind ganz auf sich konzentriert. Es findet also keine Kommunikation zwischen ihnen statt und sie wenden sich auch nicht an die Betrachter*innen. Einen starken Kontrast zu den dunklen Farben bildet die weiße Kirche im Hintergrund, die aus zwei anderen Gebäuden hervorzutreten scheint und so stark hervorsticht. Während sie mit der Darstellung der Elefanten auf das starke, positivdenkende indische Volk verweist, zeigt sie mit den ungarischen Werk eine Alltagszene, in der die Menschen eher in sich gekehrt und gedankenverloren zu sein scheinen, die helle Kirche aber wie eine Art Lichtblick fungiert. Es zeigen sich in beiden Bildern Parallelen einer gewissen Stille, denen dann aber durch symbolische oder charakterliche Züge Helligkeit und Hoffnung zugesprochen werden. Wie geht Amrita Sher-Gil mit diesen beiden Heimaten um? Man könnte sagen, dass sie ihre Eindrücke, ihre Sicht auf diese gänzlich verschiedenen Länder in den Werken verarbeitet, sie darlegt und für viele Menschen insofern neu interpretiert, als dass Aspekte, wie beispielsweise die ermutigenden Eigenschaften der Elefanten und die verborgene Melancholie der Dorfmarktbesucher ,sichtbar werden, Dinge, im Alltag schnell in Vergessenheit geraten. Man kann sagen, dass ihr Blick derselbe ist, sie schaut in Indien und Ungarn auf das nicht sofort ersichtliche, auf Aspekte, die untergehen, auch wenn die Themen sich voneinander unterscheiden. Dargestellt wird beides in derselben affektiven und expressiven Weise. Man erkennt, dass diese Werke von jemanden gemalt wurden, der Ungarn und Indien aus ganz besonderen Augen wahrgenommen hat, als jemand, der diese Länder und ihre Kulturen nicht als etwas alltägliches wahrnimmt.

[1] Ghose 2009, S. 38.

[2] Siehe da, S. 38

Hungarian Village Market

Abb. 2: Amrita Sher-Gil, Hungarian Village Market, 1939, Öl auf Leinwand, 75 x 100 cm, National Gallery of Art, New Delhi

Das ungarische Werk, „Hungarian Village Market“ von 1939 zeigt eine ungarische Dorfmarkt-Szene. Wie typisch für viele ihrer Bilder, ist auch dieses Werk in dunklen Tönen gehalten, dieser Aspekt unterstreicht auch hier wieder die Atmosphäre des Bildes, die aufgrund der kahlen Bäume und Bekleidung der Marktbesucher relativ melancholisch und dämmrig wirkt. Die abgebildeten Figuren sitzen auf Holzkarren, laufen umher, kaufen ein und sind ganz auf sich konzentriert. Es findet also keine Kommunikation zwischen ihnen statt und sie wenden sich auch nicht an die Betrachter*innen. Einen starken Kontrast zu den dunklen Farben bildet die weiße Kirche im Hintergrund, die aus zwei anderen Gebäuden hervorzutreten scheint und so stark hervorsticht. Während sie mit der Darstellung der Elefanten auf das starke, positivdenkende indische Volk verweist, zeigt sie mit den ungarischen Werk eine Alltagszene, in der die Menschen eher in sich gekehrt und gedankenverloren zu sein scheinen, die helle Kirche aber wie eine Art Lichtblick fungiert. Es zeigen sich in beiden Bildern Parallelen einer gewissen Stille, denen dann aber durch symbolische oder charakterliche Züge Helligkeit und Hoffnung zugesprochen werden. Wie geht Amrita Sher-Gil mit diesen beiden Heimaten um? Man könnte sagen, dass sie ihre Eindrücke, ihre Sicht auf diese gänzlich verschiedenen Länder in den Werken verarbeitet, sie darlegt und für viele Menschen insofern neu interpretiert, als dass Aspekte, wie beispielsweise die ermutigenden Eigenschaften der Elefanten und die verborgene Melancholie der Dorfmarktbesucher ,sichtbar werden, Dinge, im Alltag schnell in Vergessenheit geraten. Man kann sagen, dass ihr Blick derselbe ist, sie schaut in Indien und Ungarn auf das nicht sofort ersichtliche, auf Aspekte, die untergehen, auch wenn die Themen sich voneinander unterscheiden. Dargestellt wird beides in derselben affektiven und expressiven Weise. Man erkennt, dass diese Werke von jemanden gemalt wurden, der Ungarn und Indien aus ganz besonderen Augen wahrgenommen hat, als jemand, der diese Länder und ihre Kulturen nicht als etwas alltägliches wahrnimmt.

Literatur:

Ghose, Madhuvanti: Four-Armed Dancing God Ganesha with His Rat Mount. Journal Article. Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studios Vol. 35, N0. 2. Chicago 2009.

Abbildungen:

Abb. 1: Wikiart, https://www.wikiart.org/en/amrita-sher-gil/ hungarian-market-scene-1938 (Zuletzt aufgerufen 12.02.2021).

Abb. 2: Wikiart, https://artsandculture.google.com/asset/hungarian-village-market-amrita-sher-gil/QwGe4Qccl2gZQg (Zuletzt aufgerufen 12.02.2021).

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