September 8 – October 29, 2016
Yossi Milo Gallery is pleased to present a new exhibition by Marco Breuer. Silent Speed brings together interconnected groups of work that represent Breuer’s recent in-depth exploration of the idea of form finding.
Free-flowing shapes loop in and out of photographic color works (ranging in size from 14 by 11 to 30 by 24 inches), Polaroid sequences, small collages, studies for double-pages, and a newsprint tabloid publication. Breuer’s shapes hover between silhouettes, logos, human form, and shadows. There is a palpable tension between figure and ground, a precarious balancing between negative and positive space.
Motifs reoccur and transform as they move from one format to another. Breuer’s lines, both freehand and guided, trace movement and suggest incessant mutability. Lines build up to form planes that suggest volume before disintegrating back into lines. Breuer’s visual language remains open-ended and lucid throughout. The work overall has a provisional quality; every manifestation is just one of many potential versions, an outtake in a sequence of possibilities. Two vitrines present some of these variants in a series of folders that function for Breuer as both preliminary sketches and debriefing exercises to reflect back on existing images.
As with much of Breuer’s work, the images in Silent Speed are the result of a negotiation between the tool, the hand, and the photographic materials employed. Shapes take form through a process of subtraction by which emulsion is physically removed to reveal the raw substrate of the paper. Rigorous and playful at the same time, these abstractions led Breuer to new work in front of the camera in which he positions himself in the shape of his abstractions. In sequences that evoke Buster Keaton’s gymnastics, Breuer transposes his form-finding lexicon to his own body. In these interpretations, we feel the forms in our own bodies as fluid, awkward, funny, and moving. These camera-based images will be published as a 16-page black-and-white newsprint tabloid, available during the run of the exhibition.
A solo museum exhibition surveying Breuer’s career to date will open in 2017 at the Milwaukee Art Museum and will travel. Work by Breuer was recently included in the exhibitions Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, curated by Virginia Heckert, and What is a Photograph? at the International Center of Photography, New York, curated by Carol Squiers. Breuer is the inaugural recipient of the Larry Sultan Photography Award presented by Headlands Center for the Arts, California College of the Arts, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Pier 24 Photography. His monographs include Early Recordings (Aperture, 2007), SMTWTFS (Roth Horowitz, LLC, 2002) and Marco Breuer: Col•or (Black Dog Publishing, 2014). Breuer was born in 1966 in Landshut, Germany, and currently lives and works in upstate New York.