Piot Brehmer and Robert Yarber

Piot Brehmer and Robert Yarber

May, 2008

On May 31, 2008, German artist Piot Brehmer debuts a series of new work, “Landungen und Maedchen” at Samuel Freeman, formerly the Patricia Faure Gallery. Brehmer’s oil on canvas “Maedchen” pieces are realistic portraits of young women, and are rather straightforward on the surface. Something, however, is amiss. These paintings, abstracted from found photographs, lack a certain specificity to them; his models have a certain subtle vagueness of expression and gaze. The effect is both unsettling and intriguing. In these diminutive portraits, Brehmer’s scale and technique remove the barriers of personal space, inviting viewers to explore the psychological narrative suspended before them. Brehmer’s brushstrokes create a sort of third generation detachment, blurring age and sexuality, eliminating identity and, in their place, painting a new narrative by removing any semblance of the original image’s context.

Brehemer’s method isn’t just reserved for women. In his “Landungen” series, the artist inverts his intimate scale into a massive abstraction of an already abstracted space. Landing strips are specifically the space in between things. They represent the arrival and departure points for travel and adventure, dismay and dread, longing and hope. Standing in front of Brehmer’s “Landungen” paintings, the viewer is caught in the holding pattern, awaiting his or her own arrival, suspended mid-flight, making a literal translation of the ambiguity and detachment of the Maedchen paintings. Lights are blurred, doubled and tripled, lines are skewed, and explicit three-dimensional geographies are reduced to a two-dimensional darkness dotted by singular, colored points. As in his depiction of human subjects, context is again lost and in its place is a surface of tension. With Brehmer’s “Landungen” works, the viewer is thrust into the seats of a plane spinning ever closer toward an indiscernible horizon.

May 31 - July 5, 2008.