American contemporary artist Andrea Marie Breiling is known for her multi-layered abstract paintings. Energetically executed in spray paint, Breiling's large-scale canvases capture an atmospheric, ethereal aura.Read More
Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Breiling undertook her formal art education in California before moving to New York. In 2008, she received a BFA in Studio Art and Gender Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She graduated with an MFA in Studio Art from Claremont Graduate University in 2014.
In her early practice, Breiling painted with brushes in a bold, colourful abstract style. However she became dissatisfied with the comparisons drawn with historic precedents such as Abstract Expressionism. Breiling subsequently began experimenting with methods of staining the canvas without the use of paintbrushes. She spent time in Mexico City, Upstate New York, and Los Angeles, where she started to incorporate the use of spray paint. By the time the artist moved to Brooklyn in 2020, spray paint had become her primary medium.
Breiling's works are composed of multiple layers of spray paint, manipulated to imitate brushstrokes with various spray tips. Featuring undulating lines in primary colours, Breiling's paintings emulate the intensity of movement deployed in their construction.
Evolving from earlier abstract oil paintings on canvas, such as Kentucky Rain (2017) and Ways and Waves (2018), Breiling began to phase out the use of brushes and instead use spray paint, spraying overlapping lines of colour onto bare canvas. In works such as Give Me All Your Drugs and Let it Go (both 2020), presented in the artist's solo exhibition BIG MOOD (2020) at Los Angeles' Night Gallery, Breiling employs cross-hatching with bright neon tones, creating an alchemy of volatile colour reactions.
In Lucy in the Sky (2021), Breiling's layered grid logic and cross-hatching is abandoned in favour of curvy lines and a looser composition. Colours are seen to bleed beneath arching purple and white lines. After 2020, Breiling's vivid palette transitioned to become softer and more naturalistic. In Under the Bridge (2021), rows of freehand lines in black, yellow, and white criss-cross in a looser fashion.
Towards the end of 2021, Breiling's paintings were morphing to convey a more ethereal, introspective mood, as seen in Sweet Dreams of Rhythm and Dancing (2021), the artist's second solo exhibition with Almine Rech.
These 2021 works explore a greater chromatic variety, and diversity in lines and mark-making. Soft, feathery marks culminate to create a transcendental haze. Each painting presents an individual experience: from the stark yellow hues of Lemon Sugar Sky, to the passionate, fiery action in Bound for Glory, or the turbulent, brooding waves of colour in A Word and a Wave (2021).
In The Nightingale (2021), Breiling most tangibly exemplifies nature's influence on her work. The titular bird, seemingly represented by a slither of white, is visible amidst areas of green and deep blue . Surrounded by woodlands, Breiling's Connecticut studio often inspires the naturalistic forms and palettes in her works.
For Fence, Fall, Touch (2022), Breiling's first solo exhibition in China with Almine Rech at Gallery Weekend Beijing, the artist was inspired to begin painting all her canvases with yellow before adding further colours. A symbol of prosperity, luck, optimism, joy, and friendship, Breiling's use of yellow unifies her paintings in the show while evoking the spirit of the colour.
The song Empty Floor (2016) by Berlin-based musician Jan Blomqvist was a key influence for Fence, Fall, Touch, with the lyrics inspiring the show's title, as well as titles of selected works. Breiling has noted the significant influence of music in her painting practice—from upbeat electronica to moody, slow-tempo songs. Often listening to music while working in her studio, Breiling allows this to set the mood, guide her movement and energy, and help to gather her thoughts in her painting process. As she said in Ocula Magazine: ' Essentially I would be doomed without music'.
Andrea Marie Breiling has been the subject of both solo and group exhibitions internationally.
Select solo exhibitions include Fence, Fall, Touch: 10 new paintings by Andrea Marie Breiling, Almine Rech, Gallery Weekend Beijing (2022); BIG MOOD, Night Gallery, Los Angeles (2020); Gloves Come Off: New Paintings by Andrea Marie Breiling, Achenbach Hagemeier, Düsseldorf (2018); Le Corps Propre, Peggy Phelps Gallery, Claremont (2014).
Select group exhibitions include I DO MY OWN STUNTS, Spazio Amanita, Los Angeles (2022); SITE: Art and Architecture in the Digital Space, Library Street Collective, Detroit (2021); Señor, señor, do you know where we're headin'?, Achenbach Hagemeier, Berlin (2020).
Michael Irwin | Ocula | 2022