Zentrum Paul Klee Bern Founded by Maurice E. and Martha Müller and the heirs of Paul Klee
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Exhibitions 23.08.2013 – 10.11.2013

Olaf Breuning — The Grid

«Unfortunately I can’t paint», Olaf Breuning maintains with regret. At the same time – or perhaps precisely because of this – he has been experimenting for a long time with colour. He covered people with paint just as if their bodies were a canvas.

He orchestrated fire works to exploding colour compositions. Then he painted over coloured or printed transparent foils. All these actions served to be recorded in photographic form as pictures. 

In the Felix Klee room of the Zentrum Paul Klee, Olaf Breuning is realising a collaborative art work from 23rd August until 10th November 2013. The Swiss artist, who has lived in New York for 13 years, has thought up a concept for a gigantic mural, which for the duration of the exhibition will be created through the participation of visitors to the Zentrum Paul Klee. The advancement of the work processes can either be followed on different channels or through repeated visits (multiple entry for the exhibition is free) be part of the continuing creation. 

In his work Olaf Breuning does not restrict himself to just one single medium but works simultaneously with photography, film, sculpture, drawing and most recently painting. He is just as fascinated by items found in discount stores as by individual hand-made objects. His art wishes to be simply accessible and appeal to every observer in some way or another. Wit and humour function often as the key to comprehension but also reveal certain impenetrable depths. 

In the work that Breuning has conceived for the Zentrum Paul Klee, the performative act is no longer just the means to an end. It is not used to produce a photograph as in some of his other „painting“ works, but uses the collaboration of the public during the entire duration of the exhibition, to become the actual essence of the work itself. The centre of interest is the procedure. This is determined partly by the situation at the outset that Breuning creates by placing hundreds of trays with cups filled with various different colours in a grid-like form on the wall. The visitors to the exhibition will throw balls at them so that the colours splash onto the wall. The artist surrenders the completion of his work of art to the public and in so doing also to chance. In this way Breuning makes the intensely charged moments in the production of the art work visible, oscillating between genial creation and coincidence or between concept and expressive execution. 

Following the exhibition of Rémy Zaugg in 2007, Olaf Breuning’s show is the next single exhibition dedicated to a contemporary Swiss artist at the Zentrum Paul Klee. With his actute talent for observation, his ironical view of events as well as his interest in artistic processes, Breuning is a predestined exhibition partner for the Zentrum Paul Klee.

Curated by Fabienne Eggelhöfer, in collaboration with Peter Fischer.


SA | 02/11/13 | 14:00
Aktion Olaf Breuning «Smoke Bombs»
Eintritt frei

Olaf Breuning mit der Tanzcompagnie
Konzert Theater Bern

Program from November 2016 to January 2017