In The Studio
December 3, 2020 - January 21, 2021
BC Projects is pleased to present In The Studio: Tim Breuer introducing ten recent works by the artist. Breuer (born in Aachen, Germany in 1990) studied painting at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Akademiebrief/ Meisterschüler of Prof. Peter Doig, and completed in 2019 his Master of Arts in Painting at the Royal College of Art, London. The artist currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.
Text by Jonathan Miles
TIM BREUER: THE VALVE OF PAINTING
The tonalities are subdued, almost aquatic. Figures both appear but also seem to be submerged, as if in a zone of indeterminacy. Are they one or one divided into two, even a marriage of two becoming one but whatever is this a working of nature alone? In the work ‘Fusion’ (2020) we are left to ponder how painting both releases forces of difference and yet can serve as a condensing valve to compress such difference. The valve is perhaps a fusion of the biological and the technological but it is fusion that is submerged within the passage of its becoming. Something is happening or something is about to happen but the gap between these conditions has been compressed in ways that makes time leaden. Between the closure of temporality and its re- opening into yet another time there a process of stuttering that corresponds to the construction process of painting itself which might be understood as a valve of transmission. This sense of passing through and passing into, mediates the operation of producing a pictorial gestalt that regulates being in and out of space stuttering to provide register.
‘Human Made’ (2019) suggests a surprise of it being so. The drawing is tight, even machine like in the way lines are inscribed. The drawing of the arm assumes centrality with the tiny head pressed up against the limit of the canvas thus diminished in its expressive scope. The arm is an impossible figuration, it is holding something and yet is biologically incongruent, a double arm: uncanny. The staging is neither social nor natural, close perhaps to a post time in which the lines between the human, the technological have been redrawn but redrawn in ways bereft of design. A universe of frozen solitude perhaps in which things emerge and mutate in ways that are stripped of connection or even purpose.
Ambiguity gives way to a mood that presents a darkening of the world in ‘Mit dem Kopf durch die Wand’ (2019). A feeling of threat pervades the space. The sideways view invites the eye to interrogate the figure who offers nothing by way of excessive gestures. This is an art of painting that hovers between figuration and disfiguration, withdrawing into the recesses of the in- between. They reverberate around matters such as being with, temporality, and gesture but within the occluded spaces issuing out of indefinite time in which historical continuity has undergone arrest.
The surfaces of each of the painting is the result of layers of paint added and then scrapped back leaving traces of the initial drawing to emerge trace like from within this process. This results in attention to be distributed laterally across the extent of the skin of the painting in conjunction with the sharply defined elements of the figures that seemingly jut out of this spread. Eraser, trace, layering, subtraction, cancelation, restlessness of passage, and the release of forces all play a role in creating a space of the image that invariably retains a memory of its emergence from the recess of imagination. What is depicted comes both from inside and outside, as if the painting is the meeting point between the forces of the interior and the exterior or even the residual tissue of what remains where these two forces meet. If it is a meeting point of such forces then other elements are also at play that militate against the immediate congruence of the image. Here we might posit the relationship between delicacy and discord embedded within the tissue or fabric of the paintings. If what is being presented is a series of fragments of subjects in the process of appearing within an unstable ground of becoming, then the painting itself is left with the task of performing within conditions which are able to assemble itself within the complex weave of conflicting forces. This is an art that both removes and yet resides in constraint: it is the weave of such contraries and that is the drama of it.
- Jonathan Miles, 2020 -