American artist Laura Bruce was born in East Orange, New Jersey, USA, in 1959. She has lived in Berlin since 1990.
Conflict and balance are two basic components of her suggestive landscape compositions. Compared with the superior power and natural forms of life in nature, humankind appears vanishingly small. …
… With the landscape theme Bruce devotes herself to a classical art genre, but with her individual colouring they gain new facets. Born in New Jersey, Bruce grew up in Georgia, in the so-called Bible Belt of the United States that is known today as a bastion of the Trump electorate. The graphite-on-paper landscapes argue against the ambivalent memories of the topographies of her childhood. “In Europe, old money and prestige dominate. In the US, the landowner’s life is characterized more by poverty and with the struggle against natural forces: tornadoes, hurricanes, floods.” The latter favour a religious feeling.
In her suggestive pictures, the artist captures the power of untamed nature and at the same time strives for a visual balance. “Whether it is trees, clouds, or houses is not that important. It’s more about the construction. There are always forms for me that lean against other forms. If a form leans too much to one side, the whole picture would fall apart”, says the artist.
The titles of her new works for XXIV. ROHKUNSTBAU Elmo at the Back and Atticus at the Front refer to the unsuspecting puppet character, Elmo, from the children’s television programme Sesame Street and “Atticus”, which alludes to Atticus Finch, the protagonist from Harper Lee’s novel of 1960 To Kill a Mockingbird. The written work Follow the train tracks describes the route to the house of Bruce’s grandmother, who migrated to America from England. The clear, sober language parodies American short stories – acting as a verbal counterpart to the impressive landscape drawings.
Solo Exhibitions (a selection)
2018 To Kiss or Kill, Galerie Rompone, Cologne, Germany
2017 Solo presentation, Alexander Ochs Private, Paper Positions, Berlin, Germany
2015 Love and Other Machines, New Art Gallery, London, UK
2007 Night Twist, Delikatessenhaus, Leipzig, Germany
Group Exhibitions (a selection)
2016 Passion. Fan Behavior and Art, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary
2015 Du sollst dir kein Bild machen, kuratiert von Alexander Ochs, Berliner Dome, Berlin, Germany
2014 Paperworlds, Me Collectors Room, Berlin, Germany
2012 Wish this Was a Song, Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo, Norway