Amsterdam Art Fair

25 May 2016 - 29 May 2016

At Amsterdam Art Fair 2016, Dürst Britt & Mayhew presented the work of Dutch artist Paul Beumer.

Traditional Chinese approaches to painting have always been an inspiration to Paul Beumer, especially in the depictions of natural scenery. A classical Chinese landscape painting is not meant to reproduce an actual view, as would a Western figurative painting. Whereas the European painter wants you to borrow his eyes and look at a particular landscape from a specific angle, the Chinese painter does not choose a single viewpoint. His landscape is not a real one, and you can enter it from any point: there are various paths for the eyes to travel or divert from.

In 2015, Paul Beumer spent four months in Xiamen in China as a resident at the Chinese European Art Centre (CEAC), where he further researched his sensibility for the country’s ancient visual forms and techniques and how to combine these with his own Western artistic background. For the previous two years Paul Beumer had been experimenting with mixing inks and watercolours with natural materials such as mud, leaves and twigs, to create compositions, which for the greater part depend on gravity and viscosity to reach their final form.

The painted cotton fabrics shown at the Amsterdam Art Fair still hold this suggestion of various natural processes, but on a much larger scale. The works are irregular, unpretentious, earthy, combining imprints of household objects, like mops and buckets, with more organic forms. The patterns of ink make you travel through a landscape which is both physical and mental. Just like the classical Chinese painter Paul Beumer does not want to borrow you his eyes. He wants you to enter an inner landscape, a spiritual and conceptual space, in which you slowly have to carve your own individual path.


Click to read ‘To capture the spirit of that what you want to depict’, a specially commissioned conversation between Paul Beumer and Noor Mertens.


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