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Nathan Brujis


May 9 – June 8, 2024

Nathan Brujis

Press Release

Spanierman Modern is pleased to announce its first exhibition of Nathan Brujis’ monumental abstract paintings.

In an interview about Nathan’s solo show in Florence, Italy titled Intimate Portraiture in 2003, American Art historian Barbara Rose commented: “The work of Peruvian painter Nathan Brujis involves a new conception of pictorial space informed by the latest developments in astrophysics. His images can be described as cosmic, but not in a literal sense of illustration. Their pictorial references are to the infinite spaces of Miro and Pollock transformed to an even greater degree of complexity and contradiction….”

Nathan Brujis brings a regressive approach with a progressive intention to his paintings. Beginning with a period of meditation Brujis starts by picking a premixed color and a brush. He then feels the canvas while considering who and where he is. He starts with an expressive mark followed by another and then another. They are sometimes lines, sometimes shapes, sometimes dots, sometimes clusters. The marks suggest spaces, which then calls for more marks to shape or break the spaces. Then the painting speaks and shows him what it needs. Addition, subtraction, positive and negative spaces, light and dark, harmonies of color: they all serve as tools to create spaces.

This methodology is part of a larger artistic canon. It’s part of a lineage that goes back hundreds of years. The development of the visual language of art has echoed the development of culture since the beginning of time. He is interested in being part of that lineage. He studied with Nicolas Carone in Italy, who himself had studied with Hans Hofmann, who had studied with Henri Matisse, and so on.

Metaphysics was chosen as the title of this exhibition because Brujis’ paintings are not the product of a premeditated plan. His process is an act of discovery, an exploration he hopes will result in a surprise. Questions or challenges that come from a conversation between the act of painting and the pictorial spaces. It’s like a reverse archeological dig, a building of layers that start to form into compelling spaces, communicating viscerally and visually with the viewer. At the start the canvas is blank. The first mark is really the fifth mark. The first four are the edges of the canvas. This is the stage where he reacts to the emptiness. Then reacting to the reaction and so forth. From the act of creation, new spaces arise. The further along the work is, the more questions appear and new questions from those questions. The answer is the moment when the questions and layers meet in a moment of tension between all the pictorial elements, all the suggested ideas, and all the rhythmic sensations both on the surface and in depth through the layers of time.

Nathan Brujis was born in Lima, Peru in 1971. Grandson to Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. He studied art and philosophy at Brandeis University and graduated from the American University, Washington D.C. with a master’s degree. He has been awarded important art prizes such as the Deborah Josepha Cohen Memorial Award for Excellence in Painting in 1992, the New York Studio School Faculty Award in 1994, il Premio per la Pittura Lorenzo il Magnifico at the Florence Biennale d'Arte Contemporanea in 2001 and 2003. He has exhibited extensively in New York, Lima, Peru, and Italy. He currently lives and works in New York.