until 03.12. | #3680ARTatBerlin | WENTRUP presents from 28. October 2022 the exhibition “As Long as I Get Somewhere” by artist Jenny Brosinski. It is Jenny Brosinski’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.
Jenny Brosinski’s paintings negotiate relationships with emptiness. They know that emptiness, like silence, can be deafening, but can also open up into something expansive that comes close to freedom. Brosinski works large, recently on canvases two or three metres wide, to extend the presence of the raw canvas on which she choreographs her gestures. Despite the bold crudeness of her marks, these patches of smudged pink oil or trailing lines of yellow spray paint do not seem like assaults on the canvas, but rather a way of navigating and emphasising its encompassing quality. This is not a confrontation, and as such it circumvents the approach of many gestural abstractions that tacitly position white space against the artist as an initiative showdown. Take, for example, the reverential attitude to the encounter that informed Robert Motherwell’s practice: “I find a blank canvas so beautiful that it inhibits me from working immediately […] and demands too much of me too quickly; so that I tend to ‘dirty’ the canvas and then ‘work backwards’, as it were, trying to bring it back to an equivalent of the original clarity and perfection of the canvas with which one began. “1 Brosinski also soils her canvases, for she begins her work on the floor, and the stains, folds and footprints collected there become part of her compositions. Unlike Motherwell’s pursuit of transcendence, however, she is concerned with paintings that are not in harmony: They are out of balance and constantly adjusting to instability. That is the attitude these images take, for they derive their dynamism from unease.
Sometimes she leaves the centre of the canvas blank, loosely placing her marks as frames or marginal notes, as in And when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me (all works 2022), where a spray-painted yellow line demarcates a border traversed by thick strokes of dusty pink next to a core of brown lines on the right side of the canvas. In other works, including some of the paintings in As Long As I Get Somewhere, a hodgepodge of marks forms creature-like shapes in the centre of the canvas. She cites a number of predecessors – Twombly’s scribbles, Joan Mitchell’s use of the colour white, Michael Krebber’s quick and dirty strokes, Bad Painting’s dirtiness – and plays with the use of painterly heritage by also quoting herself with a wink, as the skinny black line in the middle of And when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me replicates her own spontaneous charcoal-drawn line in graphically rendered black oil. Although surrounded by open space, Brosinski’s marks tend to overlap in clusters as if attracting each other. In these layers – a rush of blackened yellow in But now these days are gone or a collision of deep blue, blood red and pale pink block clouds overlaid by hasty brown and blue-green lines in Help me get my feet back on the ground – colours overlap but never completely obscure each other. Tones merge and crowd in contrast to each other as Brosinski uses various degrees of transparency and opacity to foreground questions of perception. There is no simple seeing here – no “pristine clarity” – as one thing is always viewed through another. These paintings are a powerful reminder that the act of seeing is always embodied and filtered through the particularity of one’s point of view. Acknowledging the baggage, bias and limitations of one’s own perspective is the closest one can come to taking on the viewpoint of another. The empty space here could perhaps serve as a space for such imaginings.
Jenny Brosinski, And when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me,
2022, Oil on canvas, 270 x 230 cm
But also as a playground, for these paintings have a light-heartedness that does not seem to take itself too seriously. This tone also permeates Brosinski’s drawings and sculptures – two media that are also essential to her practice – which allow for a different approach to the questions that underlie her paintings, namely to move, as the title of the exhibition suggests. Such a sense of movement is particularly palpable in her drawings, with mixed-media compositions on paper that are formally the same as the paintings but appear faster. The vaguely monster-like blobs that appear in paintings such as Shinin’ until tomorrow and I’ve never done before are evidence of a subtle sense of humour, morphing into her delightfully quirky bronze creatures. Brosinski’s sculptural work began in 2019 with a seated unicorn covering his eyes and has evolved into a series of figures, including the four-legged horned head seen here. Made from clay, the creatures bear tactile imprints of their creation, reminiscent of figures made from playdough. After casting them in bronze, Brosinski injects the figures with seemingly random lines, as if playing around with the expectations of the medium. She positions monumentality, be it in the form of brachiality, size or bronze, as something to be mocked, played around with and embraced. – Camila McHugh
Jenny Brosinski was born in Celle in 1984. She lives and works in Berlin. She has had international exhibitions in institutions and galleries in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. Currently, works by Brosinski can be seen in the group exhibitions “New European and American Painters and Sculptors”, The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse in Miami and “Energetic Gestures” at the Kunstsälen in Berlin. Brosinskis Werke befinden sich in den Sammlungen des MMCA National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, KR | Öffentliche Sammlung der Stadt Göteborg, SW | Kai Loebach Collection, Los Angeles, US | The Margulies Collectiom at the Warehouse, Miami, US.
Vernissage: Friday , 28. October 2022 – 5pm – 8pm
Exhibition dates: Friday, 28 October – Saturday, 3 December 2022to the gallery
Caption title: Jenny Brosinski | there is still a chance that they will see | 2022 | oil on canvas | 180 x 340 cm
Exhibition Jenny Brosinski – WENTRUP | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galerien | ART at Berlin