Zentrum Paul Klee Bern Founded by Maurice E. and Martha Müller and the heirs of Paul Klee
We 21.08.2013

Press release Exhibition opening Olaf Breuning—The Grid 23/08—10/11/13

The internationally renowned Swiss artist Olaf Breuning steps into action at the Zentrum Paul Klee. Known for his daring view on things and his continual re-discovery of himself, he will make visitors work and through their collaboration allow art to come into existence. The entire exhibition therefore becomes a process of participation, a work in progess in the real sense of the word, where the roles of the artistic creator and those who appreciate art become interchangeable.

„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 eleven 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 (entry 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 Dr. Fabienne Eggelhöfer, in collaboration with Peter Fischer, director ZPK.

This exhibition is supported by Mobiliar.

The opening will be accessible to the public and take place on Thursday | August 22, 2013 | 6 p.m. in the Zentrum Paul Klee. Admission is free.

For more information, please contact:
Maria-Teresa Cano, Director of Publicity and Art Communication
mariateresa.cano@zpk.org, Tel. +41 (0)31 359 01 01