Painter Denis Urbain Pengam

Denis UrbainThose of us who love shapes and delight in their infinite possibilities recognize that peculiar certainty of finding ourselves at home in the paintings of Denis Urbain Pengam.

Denis’ painting, with its use of fractures in an order of a picturesque space, fortifies the emphasis in his excellent compositions. Of course, in the structural sustenance of his work one can observe the heritage of masters such as Cezane, Paul Klee and Picasso, who were concerned with somehow and some way, retrieving the characteristics of primitivism.

What concrete implications does this have in the formal representation of a painting – understanding the term in the sense of the shape’s aesthetics? To begin with, the search of formation of the image, which goes beyond the mere appearance of the object, immersed in an anthropcentric dominion. This is achieved through the repetitive technique of a stroke, in order to obtain in the end result the most essential representation of a given object.

Since his “Cuneiformes” exhibit, Denis has given us in his work the access of representation of the language of archaic cultures, which in this case was based on the cuneiform scripture, a significant, abstract way of Sumerian and Acadian communication. Later on he went into the testimonial element of Mayan expression through the use of hieroglyphs in the writings of this fascinating culture which emerged in the land where he has lived for more than 19 years.

He then presents the following exhibits” “Forms and reforms,” “Mayaglifs-form-mail,” and his latest presentation “Maya alphabet” and “Maya actual.” This work wass on display at the Museum of Cozumel, in which he had aside from using fluorescent colors, which radiate in black light surprising viewers because of the image one discovers beyond what is painted in natural light.

With Denis’ work we gain the rich mixture of contemporary art: on the one hand a very refined work in the classic sense, without neglect or easiness, a purified technique. On the other hand, a beating heart, full of subjective enigma, which offers a seductive archetypal sense of origin.

For Denis the experience with color has several facets: the warmth and intensity of Vietnam (where he lived seven years of his childhood) and a tropical America. Such as the great experience he had painting natural silk, between 1960 and 1968, when he created wholesale designs, placing color on enormous pieces of pure silk.

Denis belongs to the scope of the “original” in this abstract sense, which emerges from the “origin” of the shape and what is recovered just for the sake of artistry. That is why for Denis to paint figures or abstract is absolutely the same. Denis Urbain was born in Versailles, France in 1939 and lived a large part of his childhood in Vietnam (1947-1954). He studied Architecture of Interiors at the Ecole Nationale Superiore de’Art Decó. He has lived in El Salvador, Guatemala and now Mexico.

He has lived in Puerto Morelos since 1986. He has had one-man shows, as well as collective exhibits, murals, sculptures and mobiles.

Those of us who have the opportunity to know this excellent artist can confirm through his work that art is a fundamental experience.

Daniela Palacios. Cancún, Q. Roo.