Marco Breuer at the Yossi Milo Gallery

Marco Breuer has spent his career working out new ways to abuse photos materials. He has burned, scraped, sanded, and folded light-sensitive paper, marking it with unorthodox tools, including shotguns and record players, as he stakes out territory between photography, drawing, and printmaking. In this freewheeling show at Yossi Milo, Breuer trades his recent dark grids for two-tone works featuring wobbly organic shapes and expanses of white, pushing and pulling negative space to suggest maps or outlines of the human body.

United States – For his inaugural exhibition at the Yossi Milo Gallery, Marco Breuer is showing new work that gets to the core of his unique artistic practice. Zero Base is Breuer’s most complex endeavour yet. Through a layered physical engagement with photographic material, Breuer essentially dismantles the photograph, obliterating traditional notions of image and support by stripping these works down to their very base. Although, at times, spare in appearance, these works are the result of heavily layered actions, including folding, burning, scratching, sanding and scraping the surface of photographic material. The photographs record their own reductive evolution through a dense accumulation of subtractive marks. Breuer works and re-works these pieces over the course of days, simultaneously destroying and creating an artwork in the process. At every step along the way the piece is subjected to a complete reevaluation. Each added layer of destruction constitutes an erasure as well as a reinscription. Like a palimpsest, the work points both forward and backward in time—a sum of erasures that bears traces from the past, yet creates space and site for new considerations. The installation interweaves images that range from vertical half-sheet studies to heavily worked large tableaux, to images that refer to folding patterns for packaging. Breuer’s process of rebuilding through layered destruction raises issues that are equally aesthetic and philosophical.  

Untitled (C-1573), 2014. Chromogenic Paper, embossed-folded-burned-scraped. 28 1-16 x 21 1-16 inchesUntitled (C-1573), 2014 – Chromogenic Paper, embossed/folded/burned/scraped, Unique © Marco Breuer, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York 

  The exhibition coincides with the publication of Marco Breuer: Col•or, a 160-page clothbound book featuring never-before-seen color studies produced over the past twelve years, with essays by Mary-Kay Lombino, Jeffrey DeShell, and Isabelle Dervaux. Marco Breuer is one of the most innovative contemporary artists working in photography today. He is well known for his distinctive and irreverent approach to material and process from his early black-and-white photograms to his current work with color material. Throughout his twenty-five-year career, Breuer has approached his work as a systematic investigation of the conditions of the photographic medium and its relationship to related media. He has subjected photographic paper to shotguns, one-time flashbulbs, modified turntables, razor blades, and power sanders, among other tools. Marco Breuer has exhibited widely throughout the United States and Europe. Solo museum exhibitions include Line of Sight at the de Young Museum in San Francisco (2011), and New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2010). In 2015, a major installation of Breuer’s work will be included in an exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The artist’s work is in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany; International Center of Photography, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Fogg Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, among others. Breuer was born in 1966 in Landshut, Germany, and currently lives in upstate New York. The exhibition ‘Marco Breuer, Zero Base’ opened on Thursday, September 4 and will close on Saturday, November 1, 2014 at the Yossi Milo Gallery.

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