With more than 20 works made over the last five years, Shivers showcases Braunig’s unique approach to the studio portrait. Beginning with meticulously rendered paintings of fantastical sculptural constructions, the artist has deployed a range of pictorial techniques to depict bodies under duress. The figures in her work are compressed by their environments, stretched and twisted across armatures, and often overwhelmed by their surroundings. Some are irradiated by industrial light, sutured into uncomfortable hybrids, and hollowed out. Drawing inspiration from the distorted bodies that litter the histories of modern painting, Braunig adapts these legacies to the discomforts and instabilities of contemporary life. In more recent works, her figures seem to turn on themselves, testing their own limits and those of the settings that confine them. While evocatively dystopic, her paintings also subtly empower their vulnerable subjects, advocating a humanist art for an age in which individual experience seems threatened by forces beyond our control.
Sascha Braunig: Shivers is organized by Peter Eleey, Chief Curator, MoMA PS1.