Dirk De Bruycker | “Pentade” | Solo Exhibition

Dirk De Bruycker,

Dirk De Bruycker, “Feather II”, 72 x 60 inches, mixed media on canvas

Last Saturday marked the opening reception for “Pentade”, Dirk De Bruycker’s first solo show at FP Contemporary.  De Bruycker is originally from Belgium and currently living and working in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  His newest series of paintings often contains groupings of five “color figures”, hence the show title “Pentade”, and abstractly represent butterfly wings. His unique process informs the paintings.  He begins with a liquid asphalt solution, which bleeds into the canvas and creates the initial structure over which he lays a thin layer of gesso and finally oil paint mixed with cobalt drier.  The sum of these steps results in depth and a variety of textures, such as the texture seen in his painting above “Feather II”.

De Bruycker states:

“Pentade is both the symbol for life and growth, and the symbol for anything five, a number that is quite prevalent in nature (five petals, five fingers, sea star, star…etc.) and of course painting is symbolic of life to me. Egyptians and Greeks saw it as a crucial element in cosmic design and a magical or spiritual order that could displace evil.


“Pentade” solo exhibition at FP Contemporary

My paintings are not so much conceptually driven rather they are emotive and fluid, liquid even. Color fields and forms are negotiated intuitively responsive to what I like to call a painterly logic that is unique to each painting. If the actions of painting start off rather detached, somewhat random, they become increasingly more specific and sparse towards the completion of the painting. It’s a process of fine-tuning where I try to capitalize on the few lucid moments that occur during the process. I try to infuse or charge the painting with emotional content through the very acts of painting. Throughout the years I have searched for a tactile but fragile beauty, a kind of dangerous beauty, a fleeting one. Democritus Junior lists beauty as a cause for melancholy in his eclectic scholarly work “The Anatomy of Melancholy”. This tragic beauty interests me.


Artist Dirk De Bruycker pre-opening reception (Photo credit: Eric Minh Swenson)

A few years ago I entered my studio in Nicaragua and on the tile floor lay dead a splendid Cocoa Mort Blue butterfly, her body consumed by ants. I gasped, overwhelmed by both the beauty and the tragedy of the event. This occurrence provided me with much more than a pretext to give expression to my sentiments and preoccupations. I think I’ve been trying to capture that moment of gasping ever since in my paintings, and in a way that is consistent with the intuitive process-oriented approach to painting that I favor”.

In the Project Gallery, sculptures by Los Angeles-based artist Shana Mabari are featured.  Mabari’s work explores the intersections of art, science and technology.  Her installations, environments, sculptures, and two-dimensional pieces investigate ways in which worldly stimuli and phenomena are absorbed and processed through sensory and visual perception.  She orchestrates light, reflection, color contrast, and geometry to play with and expand the reality and experience of physical space.

Mabari’s 2014 public art project ILLUMETRIC, a triptych of massive diamond-, cube-, and rectangle-shaped sculptures created for the City of West Hollywood’s “Art on the Outside” program, is installed on the median of Santa Monica Blvd. at Holloway Dr. ILLUMETRIC has become a dynamic presence in the city’s local streetscape and architecture, and was extended through the end of 2015.  In a “Culture Monster” story, the Los Angeles Times reported, “Mabari, who hails from the Fairfax district, said…that the installation is ‘a study of color, geometry, light and scale.’”

Photo Credit: Eric Minh Swenson

ILLUMETRIC (Photo Credit: Eric Minh Swenson)


From left to right: Shana Mabari, “Illumetric Diamond”, “Illumetric Cube”, “Illumentric Rectangle, digital prints on paper, each measure 24 x 24 x 0.5 inches

These limited edition archival prints represent the large sculptures above and can be found in FP Contemporary’s Project Gallery.  Show ends May 23rd.  Come visit us!