Breuer-Weil is exhibiting a new bronze titled Philosopher during Frieze at E&R Cyzer Gallery.
“When I was at art school in Saint Martin’s I heard that Robert Hughes had described Lucian Freud’s portrait of Francis Bacon as ‘a hand grenade on the point of detonation.’ Ever since that time I have wanted to make a head that was a potentially explosive image, a physical embodiment of the most intense emotions and experiences encapsulated in one simple head-form. My Philosopher is an explosive bronze in the sense that it is built up of a physically enacted process of destruction and recreation. When I was making Philosopher I smashed the plaster and reassembled it, smashed it again and scored the surfaces, building up expression by disjointed and broken elements, as if the head had been through a series of implosions and explosions, but in the end there is an expression of peace and harmony. That is why I called it ‘Philosopher’. Because life can scar a person, the human condition is one of great vulnerability, but in the end what makes somebody a stoic, a philosopher or a hero is endurance; and that endurance has a certain beauty and sense of catharsis. It is another way of interpreting physical beauty. Bronze is similar, because it weathers time better than any other medium.”
Philosopher appears both ancient and modern, a timeless image that feels as if it may have been excavated from an ancient civilisation. It also references the Classical tradition of heads of Philosophers such as Homer and Aristotle, but in a radicalised fractured manner.