1970, Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Lives and works in New York.
After studying photography at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), Olaf Breuning stated working in multiple media. Artist creates videos, sculptures, drawings, and installations that investigate kitsch, appropriation, cliché and popular culture, and hint at a collective visual iconography.
For the new exhibition project Breuning created a series of sculptures in Carrara marble, using laser-cutting tools to complement them with messages drawn from contemporary culture. The catchy quotes, which are typical of the society of kitsch and high-speed technology, create a particular contrast with the classic and monumental surface of marble, associated rather with ancient temples and majestic Italian Palazzos. This bridge of traditions is both an artist’s homage to the ancient culture and a critical reflection of a simplified modern spirit.
Influenced by a number of diverse and eclectic sources, Breuning’s work humorously reflects his observation of human behavior and concerns: “Well, I would like to be perfect, but I think art shows me that whatever technology I use, my personality pushes through and there we are… something is not perfect. I like that. We are finally human.”
Besides the numerous exhibitions around the world, artist has participated in various prestigious public projects, including City Hall Park exhibition “Lightness of Being” (2013) and “Happening of Station to Station” at Miami Art Basel (2013). His “Clouds” (2014) installation in Central Park in New York embellished the landscape of the park with 35-feet blue aluminum clouds.
1971, Chicago, Il, USA. Lives and works in New York.
Tony Matelli is an American artist whose work reflects the subtle and ever-elusive combination of concept and contemporary technology. Matelli is famous for his hyper-realistic works created in different techniques and materials. His sculptures represent life-size human figures, animals, plants, or everyday objects in disquieting or unexpected situations.
‘Josh, 2010’ – is simultaneously fascinating and uncanny at the same time. A hyperrealist sculpture of a young man is floating above the ground, unaffected by gravity. Who is Josh? – someone’s frozen copy or a character in his own right with a story of his own. The work in its depiction encourages us to reconsider the boundaries of visual arts. What are the limits between realism in art and photorealistic techniques achieved with modern technology? What approaches are welcome in painting, yet are scaring and repulsive in sculpture? Does hyper-realistic art require artistic embellishment? On the very border between absurdity and humor, Matelli’s sculptures raise this variety of existential questions.
1954, Cleveland, OH, USA. Lives and works in New York and Berlin.
John Miller is an artist, critic, and musician whose work has undermined the rigid strategies of conceptual art since the early 1980s.
Miller earned his B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1977, attended the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program in 1978 and received his M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts in 1979. Along with his classmates and friends Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw, he was part of an influential group of artists who studied at CalArts in the 1970s.
Over the course of 30 years, Miller has produced an eclectic body of work that addressed language, valuation, and social hierarchy. Through his sculptures, photographs, paintings and installations, Miller continuously explores notions of identity, economics, and social class.
Miller is best known for a series of relief assemblages formed from found objects and synthetic low-end merchandise coated with a layer of paint that he began to make in the mid-1980s.
In 2008, he began gilding junk using imitation gold leaf in his wall reliefs and sculptures. The metallic shimmer of gold-plated objects evokes an unconscious attraction, drawing viewer’s eyes to the shiny surfaces. Only on a closer look, these gold-painted details turn out to be the low-cost household items. Taken together, these objects are devoid of practical application and portray a mock reflection of average life. ‘All that glitters is not gold’ – the contrast between the illusion of luxury and the disappointment of the sudden loss of value of the object reflects Miller’s position on the validity of art in consumer culture.
In 2011, Miller received the Wolfgang Hahn Prize from the Society for Contemporary Art at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. In 1991, he received a Fellowship from the Berliner Kunstlerprogramm, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
His work was included in the Gwangju Biennale (2010), Biennale d’Art Contemporain de Lyon (2005) and the Whitney Biennial (1985, 1991).