Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Metro Pictures. Olaf Breuning opens December 10

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Olaf Breuning presents RAIN, an exhibition of colorful new woodcut landscape paintings and carved stone sculptures that draw upon the natural world to consider the pressing environmental concerns we face today.

Breuning returns to a more raw mode of production for his paintings, using rough-hewn, chainsaw-cut woodblocks to stamp out vivid and chaotic compositions. The imagery made with the carved blocks––shapes of waves, stars, raindrops, and blades of grass––conjures a time before technology was at the heart of our lives, when we lived more in tune with our natural surroundings. Evoking meteorological maps of turbulent weather, the paintings are a metaphor for the rapid pace climate change is affecting our environment, which is in constant disarray. The artist hopes that they are also a call to action, or at the very least, a reason to rethink our relationship with nature and the consequences of our actions.

Human And Nature, 2020. Gesso and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 52 inches (152 x 132 cm).
Human And Nature, 2020. Gesso and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 52 inches (152 x 132 cm).

The carved stone sculptures in the exhibtition are from a series called Sad and Worried Animals. These works attempt to imagine that the animals comprehend the processes altering their habitats and humanity’s destructive impact on the environment. The sculptures all have large, colorful glass eyes and sad expressions, as if they are anticipating terrible things to come.

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