Sometimes we glance at a piece of art and we just don’t understand it. Here we have a confusing array of black and white shapes criss-crossing each other. The pattern is restive, somewhat uneasy to the eyes. It is easy to dismiss it at this point, however we are going to be open and try to understand it.Looking closer, we see that the shapes are not random. They are all almond-shaped with two points. The smaller shapes are pointing diagonally from the lower left to the upper right. This flow is disrupted by three larger shapes crossing them and pointing in new directions.
So now we have found some degree of order in the shapes, but still haven’t reached a meaning in this abstract work. Is it non-figurative?
The title “dolphin motion” finally gives us the necessary clue to discern the figurative source of inspiration that the artist used. You might remember a documentary about dolphins and seen them chasing and hunting a school of fish. The fish usually swim parallel, while the dolphins come up from below to catch them. Connecting this background information to the artwork at hand, you suddenly see the large shapes as dolphins and the smaller shapes as fish. Suddenly, you understand.
Throughout the day we often encounter things we do not immediately understand. If we take the time and make an effort to understand, we allow ourselves to grow.
Artwork: Karl Axel Pehrson, 1952, Delfinisk rörelse. Owned by Moderna Museet, Stockholm.