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Kerstin Brätsch: Unstable Talismanic Rendering_MAP


Unstable Talismanic Rendering_MAP
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Kerstin Brätsch, Unstable Talismanic Rendering MAP_, 2016. Fifteen unique pigment prints mounted on Dibond, 21 × 23 in (53.4 × 58.5 cm) each. Hand-scored and folded pigment prints, 108 × 72 in (folded 11 × 12 1/2 × 1 3/4 in) (274.3 × 182.9 cm [folded 27.9 × 31.8 × 4.4 cm]). Edition of fifteen. Fifteen unique handmade framing bars with koto wood, steel, paint, and magnets, 2 3/8 × 25 5/8 × 1 5/8 in (6 × 65 × 4.1 cm). Produced by Lisa Ivorian-Jones for the New Museum. Photo: Jesse Untracht-Oakner

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Unstable Talismanic Rendering_MAP is an artwork in two parts: a large-scale, 72 by 108-inch inkjet print in an edition of fifteen, printed on archival paper and folded by hand to create a giant map; and a unique non-editioned C-print mounted on aluminum Dibond and displayed on a custom-designed and hand-painted wall-mounted wooden ledge.

Brätsch’s oeuvre draws on continual processes of displacement, variation, and reproduction of her own works and art historical styles, strategically relying upon the economic production and distribution modes of the commoditized world. Both the maps and the photographs, with their wooden ledges, take Brätsch’s painting Unstable Talismanic Rendering [Poli’ahu’s Cure] with gratitude to master marbler Dirk Lange (2016) as a point of departure. The map work is a 1:1 scale print of the original painting, which Brätsch has reinterpreted with creases, folds, and an alternative method of reproduction to create a “guide” to the original work. The map can be either hung or presented as sculpture. Presented alongside it are the C-prints, which depict the fifteen tiles or “faces” of each individual four-fold section of the original painting. Just as the photographs are excerpts of Unstable Talismanic Rendering [Poli’ahu’s Cure] with gratitude to master marbler Dirk Lange, the wooden ledges also refer to the painting’s frame, with its support clamps; each individual handmade ledge directly corresponds to a specific section of the frame, and the clamps, impotent in this context, are retained to graphic visual effect.

Unstable Talismanic Rendering [Poli’ahu’s Cure] with gratitude to master marbler Dirk Lange was made in collaboration with marbling master Dirk Lange, and was created in a shallow bath of carrageenan using a water- and solvent-based marbling technique. Brätsch’s “marblings,” as she calls them, extend artistic concerns first witnessed in her Psychic series, a significant body of work which Brätsch first exhibited in the New Museum’s Triennial exhibition “Younger Than Jesus.” Brätsch uses painting to question the ways in which the body can be expressed psychologically, physically, and socially. She views painting not as a medium, but rather as the subject matter and the base material of her conceptual, multidisciplinary artistic practice. Both the Psychic series and Brätsch’s “marblings” refer to the presence of the human body and, in the words of Rebecca Lewin, reveal “the phenomena of pareidolia, finding faces in random forms.” The marbling works extend Brätsch’s material exploration of painting through divergent means, and follow in the wake of the glass works she started producing in 2011. Conceiving of a brushstroke as both a building block of painting and a mark of the artist’s subjectivity, her glass works attempt to translate the brushstroke from oil paint to glass, in the process redefining how painting can be seen and understood. With the marbling process, Brätsch continues this trajectory; here, she conceives of the brushstroke as a drop of paint manipulated not only by her hands, but by the forces of cohesion and expansion that together determine its form—a collaborative effort that involves artist and artisan, working both with and against the universe.

The series of marbling paintings entitled [Poli’ahu’s Cure] (2016) succeeds the series [Pele’s Curse] (2014), both of which take their names from the goddesses of Hawaiian myth. In this tradition, Pele is the goddess of fire, encompassing lava, heat, and glass, as evidenced in the bright tones of red, yellow, and crusted black that define that series. Her rival is Poli’ahu, the goddess of snow, who provides a balm for the heat—an opposing force rendered in shades of blue, turquoise, and teal.

Works from the series Unstable Talismanic Rendering [Poli’ahu’s Cure] with gratitude to master marbler Dirk Lange have recently been exhibited in “DAS INSTITUT,” an exhibition in collaboration with Adele Röder at the Serpentine Gallery in London, as well as at the 2016 Aichi Triennial in Japan and in the artist’s solo exhibition “Full-Fall presents Kerstin Brätsch” at Gio Marconi, Milan. Kerstin Brätsch was born in Hamburg, Germany. A Meisterschüler of Lothar Baumgarten at the University of Arts in Berlin, she received her MFA from Columbia University in 2007. Select exhibitions include the Arts Club of Chicago; Museum Brandhorst, Munich (with Debo Eilers as KAYA); Fridericianum, Kassel (with Debo Eilers as KAYA); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; MoMA PS1, New York (with DAS INSTITUT and UNITED BROTHERS); Kunsthalle Zürich (with Adele Röder); The 54th Venice Biennale (as DAS INSTITUT); the Gwangju Biennial, Korea; SculptureCenter, New York (as DAS INSTITUT); the New Museum, New York (individually and as DAS INSTITUT); and the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (as DAS INSTITUT). She lives and works in New York.

If you are interested in purchasing the Limited Edition, please contact Lisa Ivorian-Jones at or 917.744.6787.

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