Bertrand Neuman

Bertrand Neuman

bruxelles, Belgium

About Bertrand Neuman

The Geology of the SubconsciousThe gaze of this young woman that is so intense we lower our eyes; the haunting familiarity of her face, conjured up athousand times in the mind's eye, and different each time; the sensuality of her figure, whose chiaroscuro traits lingeras beauty and desire tug for possession of the viewer's mind: all these go to make up Bertrand Neuman's world, aworld we enter with that curiosity mingled with mild misgivings that assail us when we visit a portrait gallery. Memoriesare awakened, feelings aroused, intimate moments rekindled, forgotten faces flash back. Like "vanities", those paintingsof another age, the portrait brings home the painful message that all is transient and destined to fade.Contemporary artists usually paint portraits only occasionally. For Bertrand Neuman, portraying the human face hasbeen the abiding concern ever since he started painting. "For me," he says, "the portrait is the very architecture of life."His fascination with the human figure focuses on the face's infinite variability and he draws his inspiration from theinexhaustible well of emotions it holds and generates. In it one can feel the throb of life and sense the subconsciousbreaking to the surface, now expressed, now repressed. That is why Neuman's portraits are often divided into twodistinct sections dominated by shadow and by light. This recurring structure works on the alternating pattern ofrevealed and concealed elements. In architecture, the succession of revealed elements and shaded areas, most simplyexpressed in the colonnade, gives the structure rhythm by a process as old as civilisation. The eye first picks out thoseforeground elements on which the light falls. What lies in the shadow is perceived later as the beholder gradually takesin the overall complexity of the picture.The faces that fill Bertrand Neuman's canvases express this duality in manifold ways, and all the more boldly and consummatelyas the artist dominates his art. Where his hand is sure, the artist's mind can express itself without constraint.And even where he fumbles to express an idea before finding the right way, his hand and mind are in tune at each phaseof the act of creation. As well as calling on the subtle interplay of light and shade, he works by applying layer upon layerof paint. When he works in oils, the face emerges slowly as each layer is added. An X-ray of one of Bertrand Neuman'spaintings would show what appear as geological strata that have built up slowly as the work has matured.One series of the artist's oil-paintings shows how he has separated the different phases of development, presentingthem side by side in the form of vignettes. Each element of the mosaic the variations in light, the alternating backgrounds,the shifting volumes is an achievement in its own right and gives the whole a unity that owes its equilibriumto both the diversity of the representations and the unity of the subject matter. By decomposing and recomposing thesubject in this way, his basic aim is to create a close link between subject and painter, a link that goes far beyond thelimits of mere representation.Though he never lapses into illustration or caricature, Bertrand Neuman steeps the distinctive traits of his faces incolour, overlaying them with streaks and dashes of paint to enhance their impact. As if born from chaos, the facesemerge slowly, at times eerily. In other compositions, he paints solid black or white contours around them or daubscolour over certain features with passionate, almost violent brush-strokes.In his search for new effects, alone or in combination, Bertrand Neuman has experimented with various techniques. Hehas a preference for oils, but water-colours and Indian ink have opened up new horizons for his talent. In addition totraditional canvas, he often works on paper and plexiglass. In each case, the medium and the support are selected witha particular objective in mind. The paper he uses for water-colours is highly permeable so it can soak up the colourcompletely. Unlike most artists who employ this technique, Neuman superimposes layers of colour to create merging,intermingling, dense shades, sometimes enhanced with black. In his small water-colour representing the actor PaulNewman, the face is suggested rather than drawn in a mosaic of hundreds of dabs applied to a paper with a velvetytexture reminiscent of tapestry.Plexiglass is rarely Neuman's main support. Instead, he uses it to paint lines and contours which are then superimposedon a white ground or on one treated with water-colours or oils. The few centimetres that separate the two planes givethe work a depth which is rendered more intense by the projection of the drawing onto the background. In this way,he produces a unique, coherent picture created from two representations ex

Education

Bertrand Neuman was born in Brussels on 10 June 1967. He began drawing and painting at the age of seven.- 1980 to 1985: studied properties of colour and composition under Czech painter Mikuls Rachlik in Florence.- 1984 to 1987: art studies at Acadmie Royale des Beaux-Arts, Brussels.- 1986: course at Uccle Art School under Ari Mandelbaum.- 1987 to 1989: studied techniques of Italian Renaissance and new American figurative school at Studio Cecil-Graves, Florence.- 1988: worked intensively at painting portraits and models in David A. Leffel's studio at Arts Student League, New York.- since 1988: has made frequent trips to United States, visiting New York, Miami, Tucson (Arizona) and Santa Fe (New Mexico),where he has worked on commissions from private patrons.- 2001: worked at his monograph, to be published in 2004.- Now spends his time partly in Florence and partly in Brussels, where he is currently based.- Many private collections in Belgium, France, Italy and the United States contain works of his.- 2008: He had a show in Brussels with his father the sculptor Nat Neujean.Group Exhibitions:1989- A travers les chansons de Brel in housewhere Brel was born and at Maison de laCulture, Ath.- 1789, An 1 de la Libert, Galerie du Parvis,Brussels, under the aegis of the FrenchAmbassador; guest of honour together withRoger Somville.- Took part in "Libert, Egalit, Fraternit etc..A competition organised by the Ligue desDroits de l'Homme.1990- Together with Louis Rives, designed set forBroadway musical (Shapiro Theater),New York.- Alta Gamma, Brussels.1991- Paule Deboek Fine Arts, Ghent.- Awarded Commune dUccle Prize forPainting.- Galerie Tempera, Brussels.1992- Paule Deboek Fine Arts, Ghent.1992-93- Lineart, Ghent.1993-94-95- Galerie LHomme qui rit, Brussels.1996- Kunstgalerij Ernest Verkest , Tielt, Belgium.- Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Brussels.1996-97- Expo Start, Brussels, Antwerp and Lige.1999- K Gallery, Brussels.- Lineart, Ghent.- Grand March de l'Art Contemporain,Brussels.2001- In Art We Trust, Miami.- Awarded P.L. Weiler Portrait Prize, Institutde France, Paris.- Parcours dartistes, Brussels.2003- EventSFR, organised by ROUGE, DdicaceCaf, Paris.2008- Itinraires XXIX, Galerie Albert 1er,Brussels.2009- The Dark Show at Nolias Art GalleryLondonIndividual Exhibitions1989- Galerie Eresie, Florence, Italy.- Halles St Gry, Brussels.1992- Galerie lHomme qui rit, Brussels.1993- Palazzo Rossi Proghi, Florence, Italy.1996-97- Private exhibition with sculptor NatNeujean, Brussels.1997- Kunstgalerij Ernest Verkest , Tielt, Belgium.1998- La Chocolaterie, Brussels.1999- Absolut Vodka-Redbull, Hippodrome deBoitsfort, Brussels.2001- presentation of Rochas perfume AnnaSui,Monkey Club, Paris.2003- Rosa, Brussels.2005- Galerie Ransbeck, Ohain, Belgium.2007- Private exhibition, Brussels.- Tribeca, Brusels.2008-09- Exhibition with his father the sculptorNat Neujean at the Galerie Albert 1er,Brussel.,

Exhibitions

Group Exhibitions:1989- A travers les chansons de Brel in housewhere Brel was born and at Maison de laCulture, Ath.- 1789, An 1 de la Libert, Galerie du Parvis,Brussels, under the aegis of the FrenchAmbassador; guest of honour together withRoger Somville.- Took part in "Libert, Egalit, Fraternit etc..A competition organised by the Ligue desDroits de l'Homme.1990- Together with Louis Rives, designed set forBroadway musical (Shapiro Theater),New York.- Alta Gamma, Brussels.1991- Paule Deboek Fine Arts, Ghent.- Awarded Commune dUccle Prize forPainting.- Galerie Tempera, Brussels.1992- Paule Deboek Fine Arts, Ghent.1992-93- Lineart, Ghent.1993-94-95- Galerie LHomme qui rit, Brussels.1996- Kunstgalerij Ernest Verkest , Tielt, Belgium.- Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Brussels.1996-97- Expo Start, Brussels, Antwerp and Lige.1999- K Gallery, Brussels.- Lineart, Ghent.- Grand March de l'Art Contemporain,Brussels.2001- In Art We Trust, Miami.- Awarded P.L. Weiler Portrait Prize, Institutde France, Paris.- Parcours dartistes, Brussels.2003- EventSFR, organised by ROUGE, DdicaceCaf, Paris.2008- Itinraires XXIX, Galerie Albert 1er,Brussels.2009- The Dark Show at Nolias Art Gallery London

2010
Itinéraires XXX, Galerie Albert 1er, Bruxelles.
CUTLOG, Foire d'Art Contemporain, Paris, avec UNITED GALLERY.
2011
Itinéraires XXXI, Galerie Albert 1er, Bruxelles.
2012
Itinéraires XXXII, Galerie Albert 1er, Bruxelles.
«Genearts», Arthus Gallery, Bruxelles.
Ben Uri Gallery «IJAYA Awards» Londres.
2013
Dazed & Refused, Arch Gallery, London.
"See me" Exhibition space, New York.
"Kazerne Dossin "Mémorial et Musée sur l'Holocauste avec Nat Neujean, (Malines Belgique).


Solo Exhibitions
1989- Galerie Eresie, Florence, Italy.- Halles St Gry, Brussels.1992- Galerie lHomme qui rit, Brussels.1993- Palazzo Rossi Proghi, Florence, Italy.1996-97- Private exhibition with sculptor NatNeujean, Brussels.1997- Kunstgalerij Ernest Verkest , Tielt, Belgium.1998- La Chocolaterie, Brussels.1999- Absolut Vodka-Redbull, Hippodrome deBoitsfort, Brussels.2001- presentation of Rochas perfume AnnaSui,Monkey Club, Paris.2003- Rosa, Brussels.2005- Galerie Ransbeck, Ohain, Belgium.2007- Private exhibition, Brussels.- Tribeca, Brusels.2008-09- Exhibition with his father the sculptorNat Neujean at the Galerie Albert 1er,Brussel.,
2010
Cercle Royal des Beaux Arts de Liège.
2011
David Lloyd, Bruxelles
2012
Script Avenue, Bruxelles.