November 12th, 2012

Kerstin Brätsch at Gavin Brown

Artist: Kerstin Brätsch

Venue: Gavin Brown, New York


Date: September 29 – October 27, 2012

Click here to view slideshow

Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.


Images courtesy of Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York

Press Release:



In her first solo exhibition in New York, Kerstin Brätsch employs the tradition of stained glassmaking as a device to examine both her own practice as a painter and painting’s attendant histories and techniques.

The glass before the painting

To realize this exhibition, Brätsch worked with master glassmaker Urs Rickenbach and his workshop Glas Mäder in Zürich. In this collaboration, Brätsch transforms herself into a neophyte, someone who must speak (or communicate) her works into existence through a glass workshop and its staff. Working with Rickenbach, the artist reflects on her past production and re-deploys various bodies of work, excerpting and reimagining them in a fundamentally different support: glass.

A Delay / a Sample / a Screen

Each glass panel functions as an investigation of the limitation of the given medium. The exhibition presents the intersection of Brätsch’s painting techniques with specific, alchemical glass-making techniques. The works stand at the threshold of being neither fully a painting nor fully glass craft.

Brushstroke as Candy / Brushstroke as Dung

The exhibition draws its title from a 1941 Oskar Schlemmer painting, originally made in relation to his unrealized Lacquer-cabinet in Wuppertal—a flexible structure for the display of various sample techniques the artist produced for the Herberts Lacquer company from 1937 to 1943. Schlemmer produced commercial samples of the supplies by day and painted by night. In Schlemmer’s intimate composition, the figure of the painter is at once commanding and suspicious of his own powers, cautiously navigating between the worlds of a committed aesthetic program and a prohibitive and censorious commercial arena.

Retrospective forecast (arrows going back and forth)

Brätsch’s glass works inhabit the gallery through a series of metal support structures designed in collaboration with GianCarlo Montebello. These structures assist the light through the glass on its way to the viewer. The glass becomes a placeholder for stability, a vessel offering different payloads depending on how it is examined.

Each pane: a research / A study of the QUASI / [The entire body can side-shift]

Montebello’s flexible ‘telescope arms’ and other display constructions untether the work from the more conventional display logic of painting. The glass, unlike painting, disrupts the constant materiality of each piece and pushes Brätsch’s work toward something more variable.

Unstable talismanic rendering

Brätsch’s exhibition repositions her work from something that reflects the world back to the viewer (painting), to a thing that stands between that world—arms crossed—and the apprehending subject. The glass works function more like film mediating the light of a projector.

Betwixt and between 

DAS INSTITUT (Kerstin Brätsch and Adele Röder) has worked with UNITED BROTHERS (Ei Arakawa and Tomoo Arakawa) since June 2011, 3 months after the earthquake and nuclear crisis in the region of Fukushima. The fact that Tomoo runs a tanning studio in Iwaki, Fukushima became the central material for this collaboration. In October 2011, UNITED BROTHERS participated at the “Reconstruction Festival” in Iwaki, Fukushima with the works made by DAS INSTITUT. This past August DAS INSTITUT visited Japan and Brätsch developed the glass sunshields for Iwaki’s summer dance festival, “31st Iwaki Odori 2012”. The group activated the sunshields at various locations in Iwaki including Tomoo’s tanning salon, Green Tea Gallery, Spa Resort Hawaiians, the temple dedicated the origin of Iwaki Odori, Nakoso beach and the family home of UNITED BROTHERS. Also, Sunshields appeared on the top of Fuji Mountain, Shizuoka, Japan, in order to commemorate the sunlight on the highest point in Japan.

DAS INSTITUT, UNITED BROTHERS, and Sergei Tcherepnin at Gavin Brown’s enterprise is part of a ongoing series of performances, exhibitions and projects that the collaboration is realizing in varying constellations.

GIANCARLO MONTEBELLO was born in 1941 in Milan, Italy. With Teresa Pomodoro, in 1967, Montebello opened a goldsmith’s shop in Milan that exclusively worked with artists. He later founded GEM, a company that produced editions of jewelry by artists such as Sonia Delaunay, Lucio Fontana, Man Ray and Niki de Saint Phalle. In the spring of 1970, Montebello made the acquaintance of Man Ray, who became his mentor for many years. In 1978, GEM ceased to produce editions of artists’ jewelry and began to present works by GianCarlo Montebello. One of Montebello’s first pieces was Punto Colore, or “Point of Color,” its principal feature was mobility. Montebello played a part in establishing the Department of Jewelry at Milan’s European Institute of Design, where he taught Design and Construction Technique in 1984 and 1985. Jewelry produced by GEM was included in the exhibitions The Italian Metamorphosis, Guggenheim Museum, NYC (1993-94), curated by Germano Celant, and New Times, New Thinking; Jewelry in Europe and America, Craft Council Gallery London (1995-1996), curated by Ralph Turner.

URS RICKENBACH (b. 1957) oversees the renowned stained glass workshop of Glas Mäder Zürich (est. 1887). Rickenbach is one of the foremost experts in stained glass painting in Switzerland. As a representative of the board of occupational Union SFG (Schweizerischer Fachverband für Glasmalerei) Rickenbach is responsible for the training of glass painting apprentices. He supervised and led the execution of twelve glass cathedral windows for Grossmünster Zürich (2006-2009) designed by Sigmar Polke.


List of Works

1. Single Brushstrokes in lead from Glow Rod Tanning With… (Various Strokes)
2. Blocked Radiant (for Ioana)
3. Skeleton Steles (L7/III from Blocked Radiants for Ioana)
4. Tempesta Solare (Sunshields for Iwaki Odori)
5. Sigi’s Erben (Agate Psychics)**
6. Die Namen/ Die Linien
7. All Ready Maid betwixt and between (Various Shapes)
Kaya II*, Stars and Stripes, Brushstroke ghosts (Masks)
8. Palette Plates

* The KAYA II title-glasses are referring to the collaborative work “KAYA II” between Brätsch and Debo Eilers. Brätsch’s and Eilers’ collaboration “KAYA” started in February 2010, when the two artists included Kaya (born 1996) into their artistic production.

** These works incorporate agate stones sourced from the collection kept by Urs Rickenbach, discarded fragments from an earlier project the glassmaker completed with Sigmar Polke.


September 29 6:51 / 18:40

October 2 6:53 / 18:37
October 3 6:54 / 18:35
October 4 6:55 / 18:34
October 5 6:56 / 18:32
October 6 6:57 / 18:30

October 9 7:01 / 18:25
October 10 7:02 / 18:24
October 11 7:03 / 18:22
October 12 7:04 / 18:21
October 13 7:05 / 18:19

October 16 7:08 / 18:15
October 17 7:09 / 18:13
October 18 7:10 / 18:12
October 19 7:11 / 18:10
October 20 7:12 / 18:09

October 23 7:16 / 18:04
October 24 7:17 / 18:03
October 25 7:18 / 18:02
October 26 7:19 / 18:00
October 27 7:20 / 17:59

Link: Kerstin Brätsch at Gavin Brown 

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