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Almine Rech is presenting Breiling's deeply-layered spray paintings at Gallery Weekend Beijing 2022.

Andrea Marie Breiling Harnesses the Power of Yellow in Beijing Debut

Andrea Marie Breiling, Emma (2022). Spray paint on canvas. 162.6 x 243.8 cm / 64 x 96 in. © Andrea Marie Breiling. Courtesy the Artist and Almine Rech. Photo: Adam Reich Photography.

American painter Andrea Marie Breiling is giving her first Beijing solo show at the city's 798 Art Zone from 24 June to 24 July.

Fence, Fall, Touch:10 New Paintings by Andrea Marie Breiling is one of over 50 exhibitions in this year's Gallery Weekend Beijing from 28 June to 3 July. It is presented by global gallery Almine Rech, who opened a space in Shanghai in 2019 and signed Breiling late last year.

The artist has spent the last three years working exclusively with spray paint in a deeply-layered, ethereal style.

'I am so obsessed with working this way,' Breiling told Ocula Magazine. 'I feel like I've only just tapped into the potential of what this sole medium has to offer.'

Andrea Marie Breiling, Fence, Fall, Touch: 10 new paintings by Andrea Marie Breiling, Gallery Weekend Beijing (24 June–24 July 2022). © Andrea Marie Breiling.

Andrea Marie Breiling, Fence, Fall, Touch: 10 new paintings by Andrea Marie Breiling, Gallery Weekend Beijing (24 June–24 July 2022). © Andrea Marie Breiling. Courtesy the Artist and Almine Rech. Photo: Yang Hao.

Unusually, Breiling chose to begin the series of works by painting all her canvases yellow.

'To me, a yellow foundation seemed very fitting in the spirit of prosperity and good luck that Chinese culture has always represented to me,' she said.

'Yellow is a very powerful colour symbolising optimism, joy, and friendship,' she added.

Across the entire show, Breiling explained, the yellow base coat affected her other colour choices. It reinforced the intensity of each composition and formed a base rhythm that brought all the works together.

Breiling's previous two shows with Almine Rech—Sweet Dreams of Rhythm and Dancing (2021) in London, and I Think I Might've Inhaled You (2021) in Brussels—were not so deliberately cohesive. Instead, each work stood by itself, or in visual association with one or two other works.

Besides the use of yellow, each painting in Fence, Fall, Touch has its own character: from the passionate fiery-red tones of Burn a Sunset (2022), to the cool blue calm of A Prayer (2022).

Andrea Marie Breiling, Burn A Sunset (2022). Spray paint on canvas, 172.7 x 233.7 cm. © Andrea Marie Breiling.

Andrea Marie Breiling, Burn A Sunset (2022). Spray paint on canvas, 172.7 x 233.7 cm. © Andrea Marie Breiling. Courtesy the Artist and Almine Rech. Photo: Adam Reich Photography.

Responding to the brightness and energy of the yellow theme in Fence, Fall, Touch, Breiling challenged herself to use a wider variety of spray tips and colours in order to create more intense, powerful and complexly layered pictures than ever before.

'I wanted to create a show that was full of light, movement, and hope,' she said.

In works like Emma (2022) particularly, the more overt cross-hatched lines of earlier works become pulsating waves of colour, like energy waves blasting out beyond the canvas.

Andrea Marie Breiling, Fence, Fall, Touch: 10 new paintings by Andrea Marie Breiling, Gallery Weekend Beijing (24 June–24 July 2022). © Andrea Marie Breiling.

Andrea Marie Breiling, Fence, Fall, Touch: 10 new paintings by Andrea Marie Breiling, Gallery Weekend Beijing (24 June–24 July 2022). © Andrea Marie Breiling. Courtesy the Artist and Almine Rech. Photo: Yang Hao.

Emma also epitomises another underlying influence on the works within the show—music. The title of the painting Emma, like the names of the show and other works in it, derives from the lyrics of Berlin techno musician Jan Blomqvis's song, Empty Floor (2016).

Breiling said the lyric 'Emma wants to stop the time with you' particularly resonated with what she hoped her work would do.

'It stops time, forcing the viewer into the present moment,' she said, 'presenting a safe space where one can leave behind all their thoughts, problems, and worries from the outside world.'

Often listening to music as she works, typically upbeat and electronic, songs fuel the energy Breiling injects into her paintings and helps her to centre her thoughts.

'Essentially I would be doomed without music,' she said.

While she is yet to paint it, Breiling hinted Sharon Van Etten's album, We've Been Going About This All Wrong (2022), may find its way into the mix in future works. —[O]

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