Almine Rech Brussels is pleased to present The Swallow, a solo exhibition by Andrea Marie Breiling. This is Breiling's fourth solo show with the gallery. The exhibition will be on view from June 7 to July 29th, 2023 in Almine Rech's Brussels gallery.
Andrea Marie Breiling's upcoming solo show, titled The Swallow, is her second installment of works inspired by Swallowtail butterflies–colourful and fleeting insects notable for their unusually wide wingspan and vivid colouring. This new collection sees the artist mastering her signature spray paint techniques, which yield works that are at once atmospheric and kaleidoscopic while firmly grounded by a deeply-layered and rhythmic foundation.
Breiling's previous show, SWALLOWTAIL, is sure to be viewed by some as an homage to classic New York City, given her emphasis on primary colours throughout. A few of her pieces in that show even appear to pay tribute to Piet Mondrian, with Breiling's deliberate streaks of reds, blues, and yellows taking centre stage. However, in The Swallow, we see the artist shifting away from a primary palette to a secondary palette that yields warmer, even earthy, works throughout. Rich purples, oranges, and greens intertwine with a warmth that, according to the artist, echos back to her memories traveling through Europe in the spring surrounded by budding trees, blossoming flowers, and yes, Swallowtail butterflies. Her painting (featured above) titled Graphium, is a striking example of her palette's evolution. In it, whimsical layers of lavender and chartreuse dance and flutter across an abyssal purple field, the contrast creating an iridescent effect, as if the viewer is peering through a microscope at light refracting off of a tiny section of a butterfly's wing. This effect is carried through to a number of other works and enhanced by the artist's use of traditional formats–each of these works is, in essence, a 'snapshot' of intricate detail and contrast zoomed out to a macroscopic level.
All that said, the most impressive piece in the show is also the largest work Breiling has made to date, a landscape measuring 6 meters wide and 2.5 meters high. The physicality required to paint something so large is undoubtedly daunting, but Breiling is clearly up to the task and continues to push herself to new heights. Breiling noted that _The Swallow _is not just the name of the show, but also the name of this massive piece that took weeks to complete given its myriad and complex layers of paint. The artist reminisced about looking up at the work midway through its creation and feeling completely enveloped by the canvas stretching out wide on both sides and high above her–'I felt like I was being swallowed!'
Press release courtesy Almine Rech. Text: Liam McCarthy.