Residual painting generates compositions without composition. Objectivity, seriality, interpretation of the real. The image is information, abstraction becomes analytical. Everything that seems spontaneous has been constructed, researched. Gestures and signs become artificial and artifice of an ordered chaos. Conjecture and concepts are described in new ways in line with the present. Painting is a means of communication and questioning.
With a unceasing energy radiating through colorful compositions and violent clashes of lines, Andreas Breunig (based in Düsseldorf, born in 1983) devotes himself entirely to abstract painting that emulates the frenetic circulation of information in contemporary life. His paintings give the impression of carefully orchestrated visual chaos, with unruly linear configurations that claim the viewer’s attention. Multicolored, sensuous lines intertwine and collide with seamless white backgrounds, and it is unclear where the beginning and the end are. In each individual composition, layers are built upon each other, ceaselessly producing surfaces of reflections. Breunig’s work seeks a new expression in painting, challenging conventional ideas about composition, but attending to aesthetics and taste. The teaching and influence of his celebrated master Albert Oehlen is clearly evident. The force of his visceral painting shifts from the grotesque to the arabesque, from the anarchic to the calculated. It is total freedom from convention: uninhibited use of colors (ranging from charcoal to oil and graphite) in a pictorial pathos with no apparent connection to the rest.
Andreas Breunig is exhibiting for the first time in Italy with a solo show at Alfonso Artiaco’s, where he presents two work series that study the role of information in today’s society. Entitled “L’informazione e i suoi apparati” (Information and its apparatus) the works are evocations, visions, motifs, strokes and colors of a scientifically and popularly based research. Throughout the space, there are eighteen paintings on display, divided into groups of three each, accompanied by nine graphites on paper. Broadly speaking, Breunig’s works aim to subject careful and meaningful viewing to each element brought into play. Unhinging abstraction on levels as planes of knowledge.
On the one hand, in the EXTANT (Extended) series, the works tend to investigate the sign element with objectivity: they are variable as single, repetitive modular strokes that entice the viewer to descend deep into two-dimensional space. The raw whites of the canvas peek out between the various colored brushstrokes, layering the observable surface. Here, the parallelism with the information the artist wants to suggest is of a generalist kind, hinting at the reality of the world without him ever talking about it explicitly, but rather as an echo. On the other hand, the Protest Paintings/Miller-Urey Paintings series has a more critical and incisive character: the gesture is mitochondrial, sectional but without apparent meaning. With stark color and sharp outline, the pictorial elements bare their nakedness, identify themselves in their abstraction. This is, indeed, a metaphorical analytical parallelism, researched and addressed to social, political and cultural contexts: information as knowledge by creation of ideas is open to anyone and anywhere. Here, it takes over the pictorial series’ reference to the experiment of chemist Stanley Miller and his Nobel Prize-winning lecturer Harold Urey, which demonstrates that inorganic molecules under the right environmental conditions can give rise to organic molecules, hence creation of life.
Andreas Breunig goes in search of ever new experimentation, to the overcoming of formal limits, questions the set of reference points of view and constantly pushes the gaze and thought away from useless prejudices. Painting becomes an uninterrupted sequence and rhythmic permutation of symbols. In the strings of seemingly illegible signs, contemplation suddenly becomes contemporary reflection and meditation.
Andreas Breunig. L’informazione e i suoi apparati
11/11 2023 – 05/01/2024
Piazzetta Nilo 7, Napoli
Art Curator and Art Advisor, graduated in Visual Arts and Cultural Mediation, with Master in Curatorial Practices, born in 1995, lives in Naples. He collaborates with Galleries and Independent Spaces, his research is mainly focused on Emerging Painting, with a careful and inclined gaze also on other forms of aesthetic language.