Minneapois Institute of Arts
New Pictures at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Abstract Matters – Art ReMix

Posted Apr 16, 2010

Refresh your view with the debut of Art ReMix, a new initiative that inserts a few key contemporary artworks amid the permanent collection, creating illuminating juxtapositions between old and new.

You can see Marco Breuer’s photograph, Untitled (Tip) juxtaposed with works from aboriginal Australia on view in the gallery or on the Art ReMix Web site. more »

Before and After: Marco Breuer Installation Pictures

Posted Mar 23, 2010

Check out Marco’s transformation of the Perlman Gallery from a white cube with abstract photographs to a black box with wall drawings and ephemera and other riffs on his work. Visit the show and let us know your thoughts on the first and second installations.

New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer installation

New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer first installation

New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer second installation

New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer second installation

New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer first installation

New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer first installation

New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer second installation

New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer second installation

New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer first installation

New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer first installation

New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer second installation

New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer second installation

Breuer Begins Wall Drawing Tomorrow

Posted Mar 9, 2010

Since Monday, Marco Breuer’s abstract photographs have been removed from the Perlman Gallery walls and the space has been painted chalkboard black. Tomorrow Marco will begin the process of drawing on the walls in chalk and engaging the photographs. The site-specific drawing should be done on Friday and on Saturday you can hear Marco discuss the work at 2:00 p.m. in Pillsbury auditorium. Hope to see you then.

Marco Breuer’s Photographic Process

Posted Feb 19, 2010

Euan Kerr writes about Marco Breuer’s photographic process on MPR’s State of the Arts.

read it here and more here (audio).

Marco Breuer Exhibition On View Now!

Posted Feb 18, 2010

Beat the crowds and visit the New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer exhibition, which is on view now. Look forward to seeing you in the galleries. The opening is officially tonight, February 18, 2010, from 6 pm until the cows come home.

Listen for Marco on NPR today or tomorrow.

Repost: Noriko’s Answers to Your Questions

Posted Jan 13, 2010

Hi Everyone! We’ve had some requests for a more formatted version of Noriko’s answers to the questions you left for her in the comments section of the original post, An Interview with Noriko Furunishi and You!. Here it is:


Q: According to David Little’s essay NORIKO FURUNISHI’S IMAGINARY LANDSCAPES, you interpret your work “more broadly-as a rejection of the Western landscape’s pictorial conventions rather than an embrace of the East.” Can you please comment on this? Do you agree or disagree with any of this?

A: I truly regret if I used such a strong word like “reject” [of the picturesque ideal] or if I came across sounding like that. It was more to express my interest in “creating” landscape images without existing familiar rules in landscape photography and painting than trying to present actual scenery.


Q: Also, though you may not focus on the idea of your work as an extension (or perhaps an evolution?) of the classic Japanese and Chinese wall hangings, surely you cannot ignore similarities such as size and shape, and most interesting, the disorientation caused through concealing and revealing nature in the spirit of romanticism. In Early Spring, 11th century, Xi Guo used clouds and ambiguous space to create a calm yet confusing landscape, forcing the viewer to become lost and without control, proving nature always rules supreme. Your photos do the same thing, but instead of clouds you use Photoshop. You subvert the ideal landscape and make the viewer question what they may think is reality. You, as well as your ancient artistic counterparts work in contrast with humanism by representing nature in ways that eliminate man as the viewer. The human is not centric, but rather nature is. It’s all very sublime and romantic. Do you agree or disagree with any of this?

A: It is true that when I was creating those landscape images, I wasn’t actively thinking about Eastern traditional landscapes but that doesn’t mean I dismiss the notion that my landscape images have a lot of things in common with them. After the images were created I received a lot of comments about that and it lead me to rethink the relation between my work and Eastern traditional landscapes. However unintentional, I agree that they share many obvious characteristics.


Q: I am fascinated with your technical process. How long does it take to digitally construct an image like Untitled (Dirt Track)? For an image of this scale, I can imagine it must take hours or even days. What is your process after the image is composted in Photoshop?

A: I wish it was hours or days.


Q: Why use 4×5 film and not a high resolution medium format camera? Is there something about film as a medium that you are attracted to or was it simply the tool you happened to have available that fit your needs at the time? Do you think you will switch fully digital process?

A: I would use a digital camera if they were as high resolution as large format cameras.


Q: Are your images representations of an actual place or do you consider them from another world that you have created?

A: I don’t see them as from another world. Maybe because I distinguish one image from another by nicknaming them with the place I shoot or the place where most of the negatives that I use to create that particular image came from, and I spend long time composing and creating the images, I feel like they are representations of an actual place even when the truth is they are not. So maybe “association” is the right word?


Q: Is there an artist that works in a medium other than photography that your work is often compared to in a technical rather than conceptual aspect?

A: Other than Eastern traditional landscape artists, I am not aware of any.


Q: Can you expand on your comment about your process of travel having importance in your work? How does this translate to the viewer?

A: The condition of always being in motion for a long time gave me the sense that I was hopping from one long “stream of history and time” to another and another. I felt my landing in a place at a particular moment was so insignificant and that I would have no effect on the stream. I had also realized that I was accumulating an amazing amount of images associated with the places that I visited, all stored in my mind. They might be distorted but all labeled with the names of the places. In my artwork, using photography, I was interested in incorporating the sense of “no particular moment” that I felt about my “insignificant landing” in any given place, with the sense of the continuous processing of the stored image memories. In my landscape images, the time and the places are blurred because sometimes there are weeks, months or even years in between each shoot, and also even if the final image look coherent the negatives used in the images are sometimes created in different locations. Even if all the negatives were shot on the same day or shot in a same area, there are time differences and my camera is not rooted in one spot when I shoot.


Q: What similarities and differences do you see between your technique and photomontage?

A: Similarities, using of the source materials to create images that are expressing the artists’ creative intentions with the medium long seen as a tool of documentation. Differences, with the new technology now, one can create composite images without looking obviously collaged.


Q: Do you view photomontage as a historic precedent to what artists can now achieve using image-editing software?

A: Yes and No. We can now create images that are seamless using some software. I see it as a truly liberating achievement for artists to create images that were not possible before. Before image-editing software any photographic images collaged using multiple source photographs had a hard time avoiding the cut-and-paste look because of the technical limitations. I see photomontage as a primal form of what we can do now, but I also see photography in general with this new technology as having more possibilities to express artists’ intentions and not just as the descendant of photomontage or collage but truly free form art medium.



Save the Date, February 18

Posted Dec 31, 2009

Mark your calendars for “New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer,” opening Thursday, February 18, 2010 at 6:00 p.m and beyond.

Marco Breuer, the New Pictures 2 artist

Posted Nov 30, 2009

I am delighted to announce that Marco Breuer’s abstract photographs will be featured in the New Pictures 2 exhibition on February 18, 2010.

New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer
Abstract images in this new exhibition invite us to ponder: “What is a photograph?”
By David E. Little, curator and head of Photography

THE ACT OF MAKING a photograph involves some fundamental procedures that seem essential, such as pointing the camera, framing the image, and clicking the shutter. But few would include scraping, burning, shooting, embossing, sanding, abrading, cutting, and composting (yes, composting). That is, unless they are German artist Marco Breuer, whose abstract photographs will be featured in the exhibition “New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer,” opening Thursday evening, February 18, 2010, in the Perlman Gallery (262) at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA).

Breuer’s experimental artworks ask us to consider the question: What is a photograph? While few artists or writers would claim to have the definitive answer, most would include a camera and a representational subject in the discussion. Breuer removes both the camera and the traditional image. Instead, he strips photography to its essential materiality, and presents photographs that reveal physical actions on the surface of light-sensitive paper.

Much like mid-20th-century European and American abstract painters, Breuer has noted that he likes “to be in there, physically involved with the image.” In Pan (C-362), for example, one sees a subtle range of orange and black horizontal striations with small, circular flashes of lights that interrupt the pattern. Breuer created this elegant formal abstraction by scratching and removing layers of chemicals from the surface of chromogenic paper, which is the standard paper used by most color photographers. It is as though he is mining for color.

Breuer seems to scrutinize nearly every assumption about photography and its historical conventions. He makes unique works of art in a medium known for its multiple editions. In a time when big is often equated with contemporary, he creates modest-scale photographs in non-standard sizes. In a time of technological progress, he employs antiquated photographic processes. The distinctive blue tone of Spin (E-197), for example, is the result of a cyanotype printing process popularized by Henry Fox Talbot at the very origins of photography in the mid 19th century.

To capture the complexity of Breuer’s approach to photography, “New Pictures 2: Marco Breuer” will be divided into two parts. For the opening on February 18, Breuer will present selections of old and new works. Then, in part two in mid-March, he will reorganize the gallery into a space that resembles a darkroom, emphasizing the artist’s process of creating a picture.
Breuer will lecture on his work in March .

Marco Breuer, German, born 1966
Spin (E-197), 2008
Cyanotype on Fabriano paper
Courtesy Von Lintel Gallery, New York

Marco Breuer, German, born 1966
Pan (C-362), c. 2005
Chromogenic paper, scratched
Courtesy Von Lintel Gallery, New York

New Pictures 2 Artist Announcement

Posted Nov 25, 2009

Please note that the New Pictures 2 artist will be announced on Monday.

Also, Noriko answered all of your questions and you can see her answers posted now. Sorry for the delay.

Noriko’s Answers to Your Questions

Posted Nov 17, 2009

Hello everyone…after a bit of a delay. Please note that I will be posting Noriko’s answers to your questions over the next week. Please check out her response to Nathan.