Office Baroque is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of Canadian artist Sascha Braunig entitled The Crease at our downtown gallery on Bloemenhofplein 5 Place du Jardin aux Fleurs.
Braunig’s illusory and vibrant works defy simplistic classification. At once vividly real and lusciously dreamlike, they blur the line between figure and abstraction (1). Rendered as neon, paper or other artificial materials, her subjects are given at once human and mechanistic qualities. For this exhibition Braunig will present a series of paintings and works on paper in which a feminized figure is presented in various guises and roles. The abstracted subjects are frozen in gestures between empowerment, imprisonment and menace. In several paintings, an archetypal witch appears as a paper cut-out. Her material flimsiness is belied by the power of her posture – seemingly poised to attack – and her theatrical presence.
When taken literally, The Crease in the title of the exhibition refers to edges of folds and to the center line when two body halves split. On a symbolical level it also refers to a philosophical crease, to the rendering invisible of what lies beneath binary, unified thinking. The figures in Braunig’s paintings are formed by the structure of their surroundings, cut out of the background and trying to fit into apertures in a practice that resonates with current gender and body politics. In This Sex Which is Not One, philosopher Luce Irigaray explored the possibility of a female imaginary that is based on duality, or shards of experience, rather than on a unified system: “Must this multiplicity of female desire and female language be understood as shards, scattered remnants of a violated sexuality?” In these works, Braunig proposes one potential facet of this female imaginary: a femme armoring assembled from these “scattered remnants.”
Alongside the paintings and works on paper Braunig will also be presenting Giantess, a sculpture of two oversized shoes with sharp, elongated toes and heel spurs—footwear fit for a giant witch. The work was previously exhibited at the High Line in New York peeking out of the planting beds as if belonging to one of her fantastical painted characters, a hallucination of a feminist fairy tale (2).
Sascha Braunig was born in Qualicum Beach, Canada in 1983 and currently lives and works in Portland, Maine, USA. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta; MoMA PS1, New York; Foxy Production, New York and Kunsthall Stavanger, Stavanger. She has been part of group exhibitions at White Cube, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; the New Museum Triennial and Etablissement dʼen Face, Brussels. Her work is included in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and the Zabludowicz Collection, London.
(1) Hanne Mugaas aptly characterized Braunig’s work in the press release of her 2016 solo at the Kunsthall Stavanger.
(2) Press release Mutations, High Line, New York, USA, 2017.