Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

Olaf Breuning Opening June 13th!!

One of my favorite artists in the world is having an opening tomorrow at Michael Benevento gallery in Hollywood! Olaf Breuning is well known for irony and humor and brilliant conceptual art. I first fell in love with Olaf Breuning’s installation, “A Group of Unstable Lemon Pigs” at Metro Pictures Gallery in 2006. From what I can glean, this opening has not been well publicized but should be an amazing turnout of art world luminaries since Breuning is a major art star <3 ~LA OB_2015_Life_II_web

Olaf Breuning
June 13 – July 30 2015
opening reception Saturday, June 13 6-8PM
“Why do people complain about life? It’s so beautiful.”

In his second solo show with Michael Benevento, Olaf Breuning offers Life I-IV, a series of large circular photo-collages, representing life and all its free-associative chaos. Printed and mounted to the gallery walls as wallpaper and measur- ing up to 9 feet tall, they reference cartoon text bubbles, and are busting with torrents of anonymous characters and poop-head emojis, hot dog-shaped balloons, brain models and rubber breasts – everyday commodities that often reiter- ate other objects. Independent narratives swivel within each orb, and link together to present the progression of recent history as a multivalent, dynamic collision of outbursts rather than a linear itinerary. Their round shapes add vivacity to the tumbling compositions, but also intimate a sense of ephemerality and instability. These new works identify the art- ist’s mind and studio as conspicuous sites of transformation and production, where surges of stimuli from daily life are methodically registered, metabolized and repurposed. The portraits were captured in Breuning’s East Village studio over the course of two months.


The references to media, popular culture and consumer dreams that we find in his multimedia installations, photographs and videos are taken up in the drawings in concentrated form. Here to continue his discerning humor and astute visual language, Breuning presents 6 seemingly low-tech, pointedly handmade black and white drawings. Anthropomorphized airplanes kiss in the sky, as do the sun and the moon. Magic mushrooms vibrate and Hollywood Girls get sucked down a pool drain.

In a second gallery Breuning’s complete Home Trilogy will be screened on a loop. Each 30-minute film finds Breuning’s gangly, oafish star and alter-ego, played by Brian Kerstetter, traveling to far-flung locations such as Machu Picchu, Par- is, Ghana and Tokyo in a state of personal and cultural confusion. Along the way Kerstetter, who wears icy-blue contact lenses to reptilian effect, encounters local characters, finding himself in situations that are uneasily humorous. In Home (2005) the nameless character reimagines his life as a series of fantastical anecdotes from a hotel room at the famous Madonna Inn, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Home 2 (2007), which was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial, follows him as he traverses the globe as a disoriented tourist. The third and final film, Home 3: Homage to New York (2012), produced with a grant from the Métamatic Research Initiative and premiered at the Swiss Institute, New York in fall 2012, tracks a raucous spree through the garish substrata of New York City.

Olaf Breuning has collaborated with the Public Art Fund, Maja Hoffman’s LUMA Foundation and Art Basel for large public installations at New York’s Central Park, Elevation 1049 in Gstaad and Collins Park, Miami. His films, photographs, drawings and sculpture have been exhibited at the Paul Klee Museum, Bern; Migros Museum, Zurich; Centre d’Art Con- temporain la Chapelle du Geneteil, France; Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland; SMAK/Museum of Fine Arts, Gent, Belgium; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany; MoMA PS1, New York.

Michael Benevento
7578 Sunset Blvd (at Curson)
Parking in back Los Angeles, CA 90046
tel 323.874.6400
tuesday – saturday, 10-5pm

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