Two Creatures, a Moment and a Background: The Dream by Heinrich Campendonk

The Dream by Heinrich Campendonk

This painting is not called the dream for no reason. The multiplicity and the profusion of colors and geometric pattern are a rollercoaster to the eye, aggressive but also a sweet melody created by the characters and their intentions towards one another.

The color tones go from fresh represented by the blues and the green to warm with the pinks and oranges. There’s an exotic feel indicating to us that we could be in the tropics. Surrounding the two characters which are two different species, there are a number of squares, triangles, circles and lines. They represent the décor in which the two are evolving.
One of them is lying down and his holding his forehead. His body has the shape of a violin or a cello. The wavy line of his chest and lower body resemble of the instrument. This little animal/person seems tired and maybe depressed? A long panther colored tail with round duck green leaves has come out from his head so that’s why it seems to be hurting. Hi friend is approaching him with gentleness or perhaps has it been there for a while? His orange, rose yellowish skin color is reassuring and could be the source of calmness and relaxation. What is this thing growing on the little guy’s forehead? Not sure but it could be the manifestation of some sorrows. It’s not quite dark but it’s still scary. It’s a living thing, leaves are growing on it. Never mind, it appears that it won’t last forever.

The bodies are set in a weird dimension. The composition makes the 2 bodies static, with all the geometric patterns twirling around. Circles, squares, zig zags, dashes and ovals are the background, the landscape characterizing the land in which the two fellows are living in. It’s pretty magical and surreal. It invites to come in and join the world. It’s a dream where any colors, any pain and joy is welcomed. As there will always be whimsical little creature to wash our troubles away.

“The Dream” by Heinrich Campendonk at the Courtauld Gallery in London


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