Olaf Breuning's exhibition of new work includes photography, sculpture and drawings that create idiosyncratic "re-mixes" of familiar myths, stereotypes, and cultural fantasies common to sources of mass media. Six life-size white ceramic sculptures are comically lumpy representations of the human form. Similarly shaped, each character is distinguished by a monochromatic head that Breuning constructs using his trademark household objects. Strange and funny, these works celebrate both the unique and common qualities of humankind and raise fundamental questions of the nature of our shared information, imagery and experience.
Breuning's photographs, a mainstay of his practice, can seem strangely familiar while remaining mysterious and somewhat indecipherable. Sources as diverse as fashion magazines, photojournalism, nature and daily life all weave their way into these engaging and humorous scenes. There is a play on the impossibility of a balancing act, colorful smoke bombs, and the manipulation of a landmark into a "mammoth" image by a surreptitious maneuver. Two photographs are poignant images relating to the abuse of nature countered with a plea from the birds in the sky and a vision of our urban world set afire.
Throughout the exhibition are some forty of the artist's simple line drawings that exemplify Breuning's point of view and unending insights; they are deceptively innocent and poignant as they touch on biting truths.
Olaf Breuning's work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in the U.S., Europe and Japan. His film "Home 2," was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial in addition to a photograph and sculpture. He has had solo exhibitions at the Migros Museum, Zurich in 2007; Chisenhale Gallery, London in 2005; New Stedelijk Museum CS, Amsterdam in 2004; the Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City in 2003; the Musée de Strasbourg, France in 2003; the MAGASIN: Centre National d'art Contemporain, Grenoble in 2003; and the Swiss Institute, New York in 2002 and 2001. Breuning's work has been featured in group shows at The Hayward Gallery, London in 2008; the 2007 1st Athens Biennial; the 2007 Canary Islands Biennial; the Mori Art Museum, Japan in 2007; the Ellipse Foundation, Portugal in 2006; P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York in 2006; the Prague Biennale of Contemporary Art, 2005; the Jeu de Paume, Paris in 2005; and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston in 2004.
Opening: Saturday 11 October 6 – 8 pm
As part of Art Projects at Miami Basel 2008, the Sagamore Hotel has commissioned a 150 ton sand sculpture that will be located directly behind the hotel, 4 December – 7 December.
Gallery hours: 10-6 pm, Tuesday – Saturday
Please direct press inquiries to James Woodward at James@metropictures.com or at 212-206-7100
519 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011