The message of the flower is the flower

16 Sep 2017 - 11 Nov 2017

Dürst Britt & Mayhew is proud to present Paul Beumer ’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. Since his first show in 2015 Beumer has spent an extended time in Asia, attending residencies in Xiamen, Beijing and Tokyo as well as living and working in Taipei.

His painterly practice has always oscillated freely between figuration and abstraction, but in the past few years gained a specific focus on the relationship and dichotomies between Western and Asian approaches to landscape painting and nature. For Beumer the understanding of nature through lived and poetic experiences has taken precedence over any overtly scientific or logic approach or explanation.

Steering away from the conventions of the brush and canvas his works are made on a variation of loose cloths. He engages ink or chlorine and manual resist-dyeing techniques to produce abstract patterns that feel like faint memories of Western High Modernism in that they allow for doubt, failure and chance.

For this exhibition Beumer will for the first time combine several of his painted loose cloths into four large site-specific wall installations. The juxtaposition and overlapping of textures, colours and forms in these assemblages create dynamic and extensive views. As such they perform as an immersive and poetic take on both abstractionism and landscape painting.

The title of the exhibition, ‘The message of the flower is the flower’, refers to the age-old use of flowers to convey subtle or secretive messages. During the Victorian era flower dictionaries came in vogue that explained the meaning of plants, flowers and herbs. Though often thought to relay positive messages of interest, affection and love, flowers could also send a negative message and at times, the same flower could have opposite meanings depending on how it was arranged or combined with other flowers.

Paul Beumer (1982) received his BFA from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague after which he completed a two-year residency at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘Paint Wide Mouth White’ at Qingyun Art Centre in Beijing, ’In the shade of the elms and willows, my friends drink until they are inspired’ at Goethe Pavillon, Palais Schardt in Weimar; ‘Dry Landscape’ at the Chinese European Art Centre (CEAC) in Xiamen; and ‘Tomorrow’s Harvest’ at Bosse & Baum in London. Recent group exhibitions include ‘Liquid Mountain’ at Museum Het Valkhof in Nijmegen, ‘Black: from charcoal to high-res’ at Museum Kranenburgh in Bergen; and ‘Stretch Release’ at Dürst Britt & Mayhew. Work by Beumer is held in private and public collections, including the AKZO Nobel Art Foundation; the collection of the District Court of Law in Amsterdam; and the KRC Collection in Voorschoten.



Click to read a specially commissioned essay by Ching-Ling Wang


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