[Frank Brunner: “Untitled” (2011), oil on canvas. “Broken Mirrors” (2011), oil on mylar. “Threshold” (2011), oil on canvas. Michaël de Kok: “Evening” (2011), oil on canvas. “Base” (2011), oil on canvas.]
In this two-person show at Bertrand Delacroix Gallery—up through July 9, 2011—one is overwhelmed by these psychic landscapes by Brunner and Michaël de Kok.
Using repetition and perspective to explore ideas in familiar iconography, Frank Brunner does so in a fog of reminiscence—whether “revisiting the woods from his childhood with the integrated image of suitcases” or “studying human form through reflected pools.” While Brunner’s creative results are unique, his approach is “art historical.” Thematic icons recur on canvas after canvas and manifest themselves within singular surfaces.
Originating from his fascination of greater forces that result from combined smaller efforts, Brunner’s conceptual framework emerges most strenuously. By recalling these memories across the breadth of his canvases, Brunner creates a world of “eternal return.” Brunner’s curiosity with light and form results in visual “poetry”—exposing the viewer to caches of psychic spaces and “rites of passage.” Fusing traditional painting technique with ideas emerging from contemporary life, his reflective work confronts artificial constructs of “nature” and image-making’s inherent complexities.
Windows and mirrors act as metaphors in Brunner’s work—allowing him to deconstruct these images in various ways. As with the work of Gerhard Richter, Brunner’s images are composed of progressively blurred objects: In Brunner’s work they convey melancholy and the fading of memories over time. Deriving from death, pain, and collective consciousness, Brunner’s images combine sculpture with the painted surface. Using a dripping device with his canvases horizontal on the ground, the surfaces of Brunner’s paintings have been worked over and over.
As with Brunner, images of the mental realm swirl within the painted landscapes of Michaël de Kok. While his landscapes are bleak, solitary, and vast, each de Kok canvas punctuates a moment’s impact. His paintings reduce scenes to basics of line, shape, form, and composition—regardless of whether his subject is a road, mountain, or building. Innately familiar, de Kok’s landscapes—with their vast horizons, skies, and spaces—blur these elements by altering such variables as light, palette, and dimension. Leveraged and shadowed degrees of visual, psychic, and emotional impacts then result.
Brunner has exhibited in such venues as Norway’s Drammen Museum, Haugar Kunstmuseum, Stenersen Museum, and Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, as well as Berlin’s Stiftung Stadtmuseum and New York’s Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts Gallery. Meanwhile, de Kok has exhibited throughout Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, and France in such venues as Museum de Wieger and Amsterdam’s lively Stedlijk Museum.
Through July 9, 2011
535 West 25th Street NYC 10001