Paul Beumer (The Netherlands)
‘At first you see nothing but a chaos of colours; then it begins to look like something, it resembles - no, it does not look like anything. All of a sudden, a point detaches itself; like the nucleus of a cell, it grows, the colours are clustered around it, heaped; rays develop, shooting forth branches and twigs like ice crystals on the window panes…and the picture reveals itself to the viewer, who has assisted at the birth of the painting. And, what is more: the painting is ever new, it changes with the light, never growing tired, springing to life anew, endowed with the gift of life.’
Paul Beumer’s painting practice oscillates freely between figuration and abstraction. His recent works on paper, made with watercolour and ink, bear a strong relation to the manifold spontaneous processes happening in nature and its ever-changing scenes and colours. Just like one cannot predict the shapes of a cloud or the structures of semi-precious stones, Beumer leaves it partly up to chance how his work will turn out.
For his solo exhibition Dry Landscape at CEAC in Xiamen Beumer created a floor piece, which consists of works made on paper, textile and towels. The predominant colour is black, which references classic Chinese landscape painting. The various components of the installation are held together by stones, which the artist found on the beach. The title of the exhibition Dry Landscape nods to the concept of the Zen garden, in which water is symbolically represented by the means of white pebbles or sand. Beumer’s artistic process entails an abundant use of water, which in the end evaporates, but nevertheless leaves traces of its natural properties. The ‘dry’ landscape at hand does not symbolize, nor does it aim to reproduce a natural beauty that one can find in the real or mythical world. It ultimately is an abstract composition of objects in space, a composition that invites and perchance incites meditation.
Paul Beumer (1982) received his BFA from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and recently completed a two-year residency at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. Recent solo exhibitions include I won’t have the luxury of seeing scenes like this much longer at Dürst Britt & Mayhew in The Hague and Tomorrow’s Harvest at Bosse & Baum in London (both 2015). Beumer participated in various group exhibitions, including The Dutch Identity? Half Sugar, Half Sand at Museum De Paviljoens in Almere, Netherlands (2012) and Now or Never at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague (2010). Work by Beumer is held in various private and public collections.