Marco Breuer at Yossi Milo
Written by: Efrem Zelony-Mindell

It wasn’t my first visit to Yossi Milo’s beautiful new space on Tenth Avenue but it’s sure to be one of the most memorable. The space is vast with beautiful ceilings, and Marco Breuer’s work distills the whole world down into a detailed microcosm. Gestures and marks reminiscent of expressionism; I have to remind myself that these are works on photo paper and I’m in Yossi Milo. These are photographs! But are they?

The visit to Yossi quickly stood out as memorable not only because of the astonishing work, but because the artist himself would be speaking to a group while I was there.  Marco Breuer, a master and major influence on me, would be speaking!  The images are free from the burden of a camera and the question needs to be asked, “Are these compositions photographs at all?” Or are they on a line somewhere between a photographic image and, collage?  Décollage?  Object?  Breuer is quite literally crafting a photo without the assistance of lens or film. It seems he has struggled a huge portion of his career with whether he is a photographer or a kind of “painter.” One thing’s for sure – he is a maker of images. He is practicing an art that pushes him to react to his choices and his thoughts, while addressing his own personal philosophies.

In regard to his work, there’s a lot said about manipulating fire, and Exacto blades, folds and scratches that cut into the surface of the photo papers he uses. But what stands out most are the unwavering intelligence and elegance he brings to the work. A photogram is a pretty simple thing, light projector, things to block the light, photo paper, and the patience to make it come together. Breuer is pushing these tools, concepts and notions of image making way beyond. The work is sculptural, and questioning ideas of pictorial space and reality. Aristotle warned, of the imitation of reality in images. Marco Breuer so delicately walks the line between reality and image, making his work something wholly other than what Aristotle warned us of.

The work is about change; a metamorphosis. We allow ourselves to see this change in his work, and for me, it reflects a change within myself.  His abstractions become humanistic.

Efrem Zelony-Mindell is an artist who lives in New York. More of his work can be viewed here …

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