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Beryl Furman

AL ANQA and other parts of speech, 70th anniversary exhibition

July 26, 2023
August 12, 2023

Beryl Furman's 70th anniversary exhibition will take place in Laterna Magica's Tile and Cellar galleries at the end of July. The opening of the exhibition will be celebrated on Tuesday 25 July 2023 from 5-7 PM. At the opening at 5.30 PM, Performance by Shifu Zhang Fang: Taiji sword.

Furman describes the starting point of her 70th anniversary exhibition: "I dedicate this exhibition only to myself. It is introverted. For me, the characteristic dialogue is missing both in the works themselves and in relation to the viewer. From now on, I only delve into myself, and I no longer seek to influence anything. The wisdom of old age. So the circle is closed. I'm back at a time when I knew nothing, to the source of my creativity and to my first love: painting with oil paints on canvas. Because of oil paints, I became an artist. Although the fire was already lit when I was born: I just drew and painted. All I wanted from life was to be able to live as an artist. I didn't want to get married, I would never have children. However, G-d thought it wiser to give me what He thought I needed rather than what I wanted. So I got married and had children. Having painted portraits all my life, using oil colors comes naturally to me. I love painting portraits because the human face is everything ! And painting a half-length portrait with visible hands is like building a cathedral.

Portraiture is the most difficult form of art. I have withdrawn from the world, the art world and social discussion and I paint just to enjoy mixing oil colors, spreading them on the canvas. I paint my soul. I enjoy composition, color solutions and different techniques. For hundreds of hours I can stare at a small painting, smoking cigarettes and drinking wine: what am I doing? how do i make the lemon yellow represent the shade of the shade? Painting is not merely my passion, but like breathing. After doing archeological excavations, I found that I was the same when I was born as I am now at the age of 140.

The gold, geometry and two-dimensionality of the AL ANQA paintings embody my eternal love for ancient Egypt. Severity! Abstractness! Animal worship! A sense of beauty! When I started working on this 70th anniversary exhibition, the first idea was FENIX! Of course I'm Fenix! I have been burned into ashes countless times, but always reborn from the ashes to take flight. First I made a painting resembling a bird of paradise. But after researching Fenix's background, I ended up with AL ANQA, Fenix's progenitor. An ancient Egyptian god, a creature, a red eagle with gold on it. It brought destruction, but also good, depending on how people acted. Like me. It was as if at that time that hitler had risen from the grave. Terror and rage forced me for the first time in my life to paint with thick oil paint, changing from the brush to the knife! I was in the discomfort zone, but there was no other way to vent my extreme anger!

The words other parts of speech in the exhibition title refer to the most meaningful poet for me, Josef Brodsky, who wrote: "Each person's speech is only a part of a speech that began long ago and continues throughout human existence." So the exhibition features parts of my own speech as well as my contribution to the speech of humanity. I appreciate the humility of the concept. None of us is more important than the other.

My Jewishness is reflected in the crypticness of the Broken Pot paintings. I have allowed banality, ugliness, bad taste. That's what appeals to me. Some are beautiful in low light, some require a spotlight. A dark wall is better for Rikottu Ruukku paintings than a sterile white wall.

My name, the only one, BERYL, also appears in the exhibition as stones and paintings. The names are ominous. Beryls occur all over the world like Jews and in many colors of the spectrum, even golden or transparent. Beryls grow as hexagonal crystals. The Star of David is hexagonal, honeycomb. . . The largest crystal lives in the Ural Mountains. That largest red beryl is 30 m long and 6 m in diameter. In ancient Israel, beryls were considered earthly manifestations of the heavenly elements and only the highest chief rabbis were allowed to decorate their robes with them. Beryl is both a male and female name. I'm a man in a woman's body.

The materials of the exhibition works are oil paints, gold leaf, carbon powder and synthetic materials. Gold has always fascinated me! It is magma, but embodies heaven, holiness, divinity, eternal truth, because it is the only metal that never changes. The warm glow of gold is known to heal the soul. Depending on the direction of the light, it either glows bright yellow almost blindingly, or it appears as a dark sepia. This magical transformation of gold requires a spotlight. Carbon (sparkles when pressed hard) is stardust. Carbon is a prerequisite for all life on Earth."

Beryl Furman (b.1953) is a Helsinki-born artist who lives in Kauniainen. Furman has studied visual arts at the Academy of Fine Arts and the Academy of Arts and Sciences in Helsinki and at the Academie Julien in Paris.

Beryl Furman photo above: Shunit Zaritzky.

Beryl Furman: AL ANQA 2