Bridges and Rafts

Bridges and Rafts

Bridges and Rafts are characteristically linked to an aquatic environment, and their  raison d' etre is to facilitate movement and crossing from one place to another.  Being images with a positive option of movement, they have acquired symbolic quality in the human imagination. "Only few people cross the river to the other bank; all the others just run around back and forth on this bank." This Buddhist metaphor expresses the ambivalent relativity of the bridge. It does offer an option of crossing and movement , but the realization of the option is up to the person.

De Lange does not paint the full height of the arched bridge at this particular point. It is here that the bridge is anchored to the bottom of the structure, to its darkish foundations, populated with shadows of columns, a bright light beam and exposed concrete slabs.

The bridge does not realize the full potential of the passage from bank to bank, like in the Buddhist metaphor, but remains in the intermediate state with both options open: crossing to eternity as well as going back.

Neither the structural value of the bridges and rafts, nor their positive symbolism is unequivocally anchored in de Lange's paintings. Carefully sober, de Lange uses them as an image to remove the viewer from a concrete realistic world into an imaginary fanciful world and back again.

Tali Tamir  -  1993