~OLAF BREUNING/METRO PICTURES
OCT 11 – NOV 8, 2008
METRO PICTURES – 519 WEST 24th ST – CHELSEA – NYC
. . . the show is already down, but strolling by the exhibit, while waiting for RICHARD PRINCE to arrive at his opening, a few doors down – this show of new work by OLAF BREUNING – became more and more intriguing – and since, it is down – maybe it is timely to post some shots, for everyone else who missed it !!
OLAF BREUNING acquired some real legs for his work, and most likely was the only one to have done so – at this year’s WHITNEY BIENNALE 2008. A lot of young artists and young art world professionals spoke very well of his showing there, but not a glimpse of his work is shown on the WHITNEY survey video of the event !! what losers they are over there, sorry – but its true.
on a up note – as part of ART PROJECTS at MIAMI BASEL 2008, the SAGAMORE HOTEL has commissioned a site specific work from Mr. BREUNING – a 150 ton sand sculpture !! that will be located directly behind the hotel, DEC 4 – 7, 2008 !!
so if you are going to MIAMI -don’t miss it.
Mr. BREUNING, is 38 years old, young ? being born in 1970 in Schaffhausen, SWITZERLAND.
he currently lives and works in both New York and Zurich.
the writing on the wall – that customarily greets METRO PICTURE guests !!
OLAF BREUNING, ‘Brian’, 2008. Mounted C-print. 60 x 75 in. Edition of 6.
this is the piece that first made us run back and forth between OLAF BREUNING & the new RICHARD PRINCE paintings at GAGOSIAN, a few doors down.
OLAF BREUNING, ‘Helicopter Hair’, 2008, Mounted C-print. 60 x 75 in.
OLAF BREUNING, painting directly on the wall.
. . . looks like he used ‘dripless’ paint, yo !!!
OLAF BREUNING, ‘The Big Challenge’ 2008. approx 79 x 36 x 19 in.
detail, OLAF BREUNING, ‘The Big Challenge’
it was the New York Times casually joking sound bite reference to this piece – that initially turned me off from the show. mistake – its not really indicative of the show’s sharper dry wit & originality of expression. the show actually reminded me of the young art collective, outta PHILLY – BOBO – shows – but whereas the BOBO shows escalate into complete and wild wonder and mess – BREUNING stays very composed, but just as wild & globally visionary – in his own weird way.
OLAF BREUNING, ‘Lighthead’, 2008, Ceramic & mixed media. approx 79 x 36 x 19 in.
OLAF BREUNING, ‘Lighthead’, 2008.
. . . here’s another piece that brings BOBO to mind. (as opposed to let’s say DAMIEN HIRST). the ‘gynecological’ lamps !!, the red lights !! the white ceramic organically shaped pedestal bases – the anthropomorphic aspects. the human dimensions. the future . . . implications. like ? like when . . . . ROBOTS WILL RULE THE WORLD !!
. . . it also brings to mind – all the light (and light to handle !!) ‘fixtures’ – we’ve been seeing lately. and they’re ALL great. sculptures that double as functioning electrical light design elements for your home !! as opposed to all those awful heavy 70’s stuff that really belonged on a junk yard, not your 100 acre industrial garden, and need a heavy duty crane to move around. ala TONY SMITH & FRANK STELLA – and, all those other ol’ school guys, too numerous to name & blame.
. . . a little more on the anthropomorphic implications !! not all sculpture & free standing work does this – witness STERLING RUBY – one artist whose work, no matter the format – definitely does NOT do this. and not all anthropomorphic work calls to mind futuristic robots – witness JOE BRADLEY – whose abstract gestures always call to mind -just us, . . . us silly human beings.
some more drawing on the wall – in a kind of fluid, no drip – comic book calligraphy. and to the right: another white ceramic pedestal bodied, techno bearing head – OLAF BREUNING, ‘What you Hear, You Speak’, 2008.
a change in pace – a white ceramic bearing a non-techno group of heads, ceramic face headed pitchers !!
but why do I feel I’ve seen this before ? these pitchers must be a mass produced souvenir item or something. I’ve seen them on artist ‘display’ wall shelves before. somehow I also recall another water fountain like this ? whatever.
detail, OLAF BREUNING, ‘Water Head’, 2008
it’s a working water fountain. really a working ‘spit’ from a guy with a big grin. the jokes on you !!
so there is tech in the head – after all – the waterworks.
OLAF BREUNING. ‘Fire’ , 2008. Mounted C-print. 60 x 75 in. Edition of 6.
detail, OLAF BRUENING ,’Fire’.
this is an amazing piece, no doubt about it. it looks and feels like a painting.
it feels like it speaks to post 9-ll NYC and the global world. a whole subtext of art history master thesis projects – could be built around this single image.
this is one image that could be put in front of any student – from KINDERGARTEN on up – to ask them: if art – has any real meaning to life !!
detail, OLAF BREUNING, ‘Fire’.
detail, OLAF BREUNING, ‘Fire’.
detail. OLAF BREUNING, ‘Fire’.
changing gears – more line drawing on the walls. OLAF BREUNING. METRO PICTURES.
Mr BREUNING is definitely out to send a signal. just as much as SCOTT HUG !!
OLAF BREUNING, ‘Why Can You Not Be Nice With Nature?’, 2008
Mounted C-print, 60 x 75 in.
not just a high end production big budget show, it also included some small framed black line drawing . . . cartoons, also out to say something, on a wide range of human issues. !!
one of our favs !! light bulb head man !!
OLAF BREUNING, line drawing.
there was this one grainy low resolution photo of OLAF BREUNING in one of the catalogs on the reception desk.
‘OLAF BREUNING & FRIEND’, New York, 2008 – PHOTO: CATHERINE GHIM.
PHOTOS: NANCY SMITH – NOV 8, 2008