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The Mediators II

Oil on paper
78 3/4 x 55 1/8 in.

Davidson Contemporary is pleased to present The Mediators, a new solo exhibition of work by Nicky Broekhuysen. The Mediators are a series of large paintings on paper based in part on ancient rock paintings, particularly those of the indigenous San Bushmen of Southern Africa. The San Bushmen believed that everything in life – rocks, plants, animals, and even humans – hold energy. When painting images onto rocks, they were in fact capturing the energy or potency of what they were painting. Believed to be among the first historical examples of image making, these rock paintings serve as a “doorway” between the physical and spiritual worlds.


All of Broekhuysen’s work is made up of thousands of small marks – 1s and 0s to be precise – stamped individually onto the paper to create a larger image. As a painter uses a brush to create form stroke by stroke, the 1s and 0s are the building blocks of both form and meaning in all of Broekhuysen’s work. A simple system of information storage and memory, the binary numbers act as a condensed language, a metaphor that speaks of who we are, the connectedness of things and the potential of, and for, change. Made using colors that reflect and evoke the rocks and pigments of her native South Africa, the works become ‘mediators’ between the physical and spiritual.


The Mediators is Nicky Broekhuysen’s first exhibition with Davidson Contemporary and her first in the United States. She lives and works in Berlin.