Variations in Mother of Pearl
August 10, 2017 - September 1, 2017
Globe Gallery, The Globe Tower, 32nd Street corner 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
When National Artist Arturo Luz was once asked why he went into sculpture, his reply was: "It was a natural extension of my painting." More interesting is the little-known fact that Luz himself went into jewelry, with his exotic and colorful Indian beads and coral stones strung into necklaces and bracelets.
Were the jeweler Hans Brumann to be asked the same question, very likely would he answer similarly. For Brumann, remarkably a Swiss who has been a resident in Manila for over four decades, bears the name that has become synonymous with the finest in jewelry. And is an item of jewelry not like a piece of sculpture itself? Wood, stone, and bronze were merely exchanged for precious gems and stones.
Brumann sculptures are triggered by the qualities of his jewelry: exquisite, restrained, minimalist, pared-down and reservedly elegant, with nothing superfluous. And in place of his accustomed diamonds, rubies, and emeralds, Brumann now delights in the polish and density of his kamagong, molave, narra, mother of pearl and in this collection, steel.
Intriguingly, these are three-dimensional works whose subjects seem to have slipped away from their painterly, pictorial canvases: bird in flight, seascape and cityscapes with its sly reference to its gritty poverty and glass-and-steel grandeur. Often they assume the nature of a bas-relief. But it is in his abstract creations, making to allusion to physical reality, autonomous in their own existence, where Brumann draws the apparatus of constructivist sculpture: the vitality and tension of intersecting mass and volume, with their thrust and counter-thrust, their rhythmic and expressive manipulation of space between bars and blocks of wood or metal.
But while the essential function of jewelry is the adornment and enhancement often of the female body, each of Brumann's sculptures is an entity unto itself, and serves only the space that it ironically displaces. That, however, should not preclude Hans Brumann's temperament to treat his sculpture as gems writ large, surmounted not on human flesh, but on pedestals and walls.
------- Cid Reyes
Cid Reyes is…….. (please put the note about Cid Reyes that we’re always using)