Olaf Breuning

As something of an enfant terrible of the art world, Olaf Breuning views the world through disillusioned eyes and delivers an absurd and deceptively idiotic, satirical version of what he sees. His work can be perceived as a kind of personal diary, driven by everyday life, fueled by humor and fashioned by whatever might be at hand and with the help of a gang of friends. Stylistically, his work happily flirts with caricature and reveals an ongoing concern with man’s impact on nature. Olaf Breuning employs photography, film, ceramics, engraving and drawing to create a very direct and deliberately regressive form of art. Recently, he has added painting to his body of work: naïve and almost childlike forms and colors are applied using woodcut stamps made from solid wooden blocks, lending his highly rhythmic compositions the rustic aspect of wood engraving and the primitivism of art brut.

Olaf Breuning was born in 1970 in Schaffhausen (Switzerland), moving to the USA at the beginning of the 2000s. Today he lives and works in upstate New York. In 2016, he was the subject of a retrospective at the NRW-Forum in Düsseldorf and has enjoyed solo exhibitions at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, the Chisenhale Gallery, London and at the Paul Klee Museum in Bern. He participated in the 2008 Whitney Biennial and his work has been featured in group exhibitions at the MoMA, New York, the Pompidou Center, Paris, the Haus der Kunst, Munich, the Kunsthalle, Zurich, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, the Jeu de Paume, Paris, the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, the Whitechapel Gallery, London and the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo.