Gary Brewer at Moorpark College Art Gallery
By Genie Davis
Through April 5th
Opening March 3rd and running through April 5th at the Moorpark College Art Gallery, Gary Brewer’s solo exhibition, Dark Matter Paintings is a show infused with light and color. Curated by Erika Lizée, the nine large scale works in this stunning exhibition are vibrant shades of blue, buoyant as the sea, vast as the sky. Gold, copper, and silver elements are also present in a number of the works, born, the artist says “in the collapse of a star. The background is based on NASA modeling of dark matter.”
Dark matter may be the subject of these paintings, but they are not visually dark. Rather, they are glowing and ethereal.
Brewer says he chose the color blue as his primary palette because of its “spatially recessive nature, it naturally falls back and suggests deep space…for the moment, I am hooked; each painting expresses such a distinctive nuance of blue.”
According to Brewer “The dark matter, the elements, they’re kind of metaphorical meditations for existence, using images of the fundamental building blocks of life. My paintings are meant to communicate that through a deeply immersive, sensual engagement.”
The large scale of the artist’s work, its color vibrance, and its swirling, sweeping images pull viewers into a profound, breathtaking experience.
“I want the paintings to open up your mind to thoughts and feelings and the experience of the sublime,” he says. Brewer adds that he likes to express these abstract concepts by anchoring them in visuals that people can easily feel or know. He views his painting as the link between “information as to what is depicted and to metaphoric poetic narrative.”
Brewer points out that “Narrative can be filled in different ways. I have a friend who is a Kundalini yoga teacher who thinks that kind of energy system is big and suggestive enough to embrace multitudes. As an artist, you also try to open doors and usher people in to where the mind can engage feelings you otherwise resisted.”
Talking with curator Lizee, Brewer explains that “The movement, complexity, and power of form is something that affects me intuitively.” The artist also attests that what he most wants viewers to take away from viewing of his work is “a sublime sense of the wonder and mystery of our existence.”
The paintings Brewer will be presenting at Moorpark comprise two years of work. There is a potent alchemy in his visuals which is both otherworldly and totemic, each seemingly a natural wonder emblematic of human existence.
Working in oil on canvas, Brewer’s “Secrets and Emanations” fuses a thick, textural copper with wispy, ghostly, pale blue on a darker midnight sky background. “Velocity of Perception” uses an aquamarine hue behind thicker royal blue and aqua shapes, with paler aqua patterns dancing like light on a Hawaiian sea. “The Door, The Window, The Mirror” flanks a strange, almost human- like gold form between towering aqua and blue shapes, which outlined in white, stand as entrances to another dimension. The titular “Dark Matters,” which towers from an impressive 96 x 60 canvas, features prominent, perfectly realized purple orchids in the foreground, while behind the flowers rises a pearl white and pale blue chimeric shape against a deep blue background with paler shadows or reflections of lighter blue.
Whether we are seeing galaxies, universes, the depths of the sea, or the pulse of our souls and our minds, Brewer’s paintings astonish with their rich color and inward light.
The artist will hold a talk and reception on Monday March 6th at 3 p.m. in the Applied Arts Building room 136 of the Moorpark College Administration Building. Moorpark College is located at 7075 Campus Road in Moorpark. It is well worth the drive to visit Brewer’s “Dark Matter.”