The current exhibition of Evan Gruzis’ work “Alpha Waves” at Duve Berlin was very unexpected. The title is spot on as the pieces seem to be tuning into your brain waves and playing with the thousands of waves flowing through the atmosphere that are invisible to the naked eye. There is something mysterious about brain waves and the subconscious and this mystery seems to be evident in the paintings.
Not so watery watercolour
From a distance some of the pieces look like photos, some look like a block colour but few look like what they really are. Getting up close you can see the true depth of each piece and the many colours, angles and layers that create it, almost like the complexity of brain-waves. One of the main surprises came when I found out they were watercolour paintings….what? Who knew this could be a strong and exciting medium! There were no soft watery landscapes or delicate vase of flowers in sight…thankfully! Instead strong lines, sharp angles and vibrant colours come together in these watercolours.
Feel the vibes
For the non-neuroscientists out there, alpha waves are all about oscillations in the brain which are strongest during times of wakeful relaxation and closed eyes…sounds a lot like meditation! This is how the gallery space felt, like a centre for meditation. There was a kind of electric energy in the room due to the deep, ultraviolet, slightly neon hues and metallic spattering. The heat of the gallery and the low humming of the TV facing the wall added to this energy in the room.
Can’t find the remote? Photo: courtesy of Duve
So often art plays with the mind, tests our interpretation skills and makes our brains crazy, yet this is the first exhibition I have visited which made me think about my brain’s perception of the art. While I thought this seemed like a place for meditation, it could easily feel like a psychological test-centre. The TV with its flashing, coloured lights on the screen was facing the wall out of natural view and gave the impression of an experiment. Some pieces are framed and the glass of the frames mirror and so extend the view of the room. It is such a sharp but slightly warped reflection that you can see yourself inside the frame, clearly but slightly twisted and it’s almost like looking into another dimension. I’m unsure if this was intentional or if they weren’t expecting so much sun in March! Either way it was an interesting way to connect with the art.
It was a shame to leave the relaxing sphere of the gallery, but always on the hunt for something new I headed across the road to get a closer look at the outside art of Christophe Giro in Invaliden Park.
- Duve Berlin Evan Gruzis – “Alpha Wave”, March 9th – April 20th 2012, Tue-Fri: 11am-6pm, Sat: 12pm-6pm