Across the Universe
Oil on canvas (triptych), 2015-2017
Artist Gary Brewer remarks that the orchids and lichens in his stunning painting, Dark Matters (center), are "metaphors for the history of life on earth and of our consciousness." The diaphanous ethereal shapes are prescient, based on NASA's early modeling that attempted to map elusive dark matter, the invisible gravitational entity that orders galaxies into clusters. It's remarkable that the Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 was awarded to Kip Thorne, Barry Barish, and Rainer Weiss for their breakthrough observations confirming Albert Einstein's theory on the presence of gravitational waves, the detection of which allows us to "see" dark matter.
The tall flanking paintings, Ascension (left) and Love Supreme (right), proffer scale in their portrayal of dark matter and were painted as the artist listened to John Coltrane's jazz "to capture something of the energy and vibration of his music, for it to become part of the work."
The ancient concept known as Music of the Spheres was a philosophy that interpreted the movements of celestial bodies as inaudible music expressed through mathematics. Today, the sonification of the recently demonstrated gravitational waves resulting from distant colliding black holes is experienced as "chirps." Accordingly, Brewer's paintings lend dynamic visual contours to the interstitial spaces of the universe.
Kóan Jeff Baysa, Curator