Paul Beumer’s painterly practice oscillates between figuration and abstraction, but in the past few years gained a specific focus on the relationship and dichotomies between Western and Asian approaches to landscape painting and nature. Steering away from the conventions of the brush and canvas his works are made on a variation of loose cloths. He engages ink or chlorine and manual resist-dyeing techniques to produce abstract patterns that feel like faint memories of Western High Modernism.

Paul Beumer (1982) received his BFA from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague after which he completed a two-year residency at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. He recently was a resident at 16/16 in Lagos, Nigeria. He will return to Nigeria in October 2019 to participate in the Lagos Photo Festival. We talk to him in the context of the Spanish Arco exhibiton where he also was:

  • How can you make a living from Art?

I can’t live from sales only. I’m lucky to have recieved funding from the Mondriaan foundation. It makes life a little more easier.

  • Who inspired you?

Holden Caulfield, Vaslav Nijinsky, Oblomov, Harry Haller, Siddhartha Gautama.

  • Where have you been educated?

Seeing intriguing exhibitions, reading books about artist I admire like Cy Twomly, Anni Albers, Sam Gilliam, Sengai Gibon, Agnes Martin and Paul Klee while listening to Geinoh Yamashirogumi or Brian Eno. Looking at prehistoric cave paintings, ceramic glazes, African textiles, plants and dead insects. The spiritual in abstract painting, Corals and a nice bottom; trying to find out what it is that makes me want to look at it.

  • How is your normal working day?

Coffee, reading, experimenting with materials, coffee, looking at the experiment, Happy or disappointed with the experiment, starting over, waiting for the appropriate time to open a bottle of wine.

  • Who is doing the selling for you?

Gallery Dürst Britt& Mayhew based in The Hague, The Netherlands do most of the sales.

  • Which are the most important places to be as an artist?

Among other artist.

  • How can we define the value of an art work?

History defines merit and importance of a work of art. Economics define the popularity

  • How important is networking in this world?

I am afraid its more important than I am willing to admit.

  • How important is the gallery?

A gallery create a social network for people interested in art.

  • How will it role change with a changing economy?

I don’t know, its not my business; my business is being a artist, not a gallerist.

  • How important are residencies in an artist’s life?

Participating residencies are a good way to confront yourself with different cultures and realities, sometimes overwhelmingly chaotic or even exiting boredom.

I often find it very difficult making works in a new place surrounded by unknown people. But more often, suprisingly month later you will find references in the works to the past experience.