Gary Brewer: Voluptuous Charm of the Monumental Impulse
Wonzimer Gallery, Los Angeles
Through January 7, 2023
Written by Eve Wood
Voluptuous Charm of the Monumental Impulse, Gary Brewer’s first solo exhibition with Wonzimer Gallery is a veritable cornucopia of contoured lines, accentuated with bright and luminescent colors. The minute one enters the space of the gallery, the sensual and evocative nature of this works begins to take hold in a kind of mesmerizing fever dream of color, shapes and forms.
Although flower images suggestive of female genitalia has been a favorite subject for centuries, Gary Brewer takes on the mantle of eroticism in new and invigorating ways, especially as it relates to his use of sophisticated color combinations. Although many of these drawings and paintings appear similar, each image is a universe unto itself, color and form expressed within the folds of each of these radiant orchid paintings, wherein the erotic is couched within the architectural framework of the natural world.
Brewer invites the viewer to experience what he terms the “bilateral symmetry” and the “powerful architecture of these structures.” He is directly addressing a metaphysical “architectural” space that is more liminal than real, more mystic than observational, and works like “Cave of pleasure that keeps the seed,” (2022) emphasize not only the intricate beauty of a flower’s physical structure, but touches on a deeper narrative impulse, sparking questions like are these flowers sentient? And do they understand language and association? Those folks who talk to their plants might attest to the miracle of kindness as certainly these paintings are lovingly made, and one has the sense that Brewer is a secret “plant talker,” encouraging his orchids even as he lays them bare.
Brewer has also ventured into uncharted territory here as he presents a series of new sculptural forms. Employing titles like “Journey of the heart,” and “Nautilus of desire,” these unique forms further support the artist’s interest in the expansiveness of human longing. Resembling sea anemones, these strangely alluring biomorphic shapes employ the same deep pinks, purples and blues as the accompanying paintings and further suggest a multiplicity of oddly satisfying idiosyncratic unions.
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