Kerstin Bratsch /   Kerstin Brätsch

Germany 1979

Installation, Sculpture, Conceptual Art, Painting

Kerstin Bratsch
Kerstin Brätsch
May 19, 2016
Bojan is an author for Widewalls. He is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Belgrade, majoring in English studies. He is particularly interested in English linguistics and culture. Bojan is also interested in Photography and Digital Art.

Kerstin Brätsch is making abstract art, seeking to envision something that cannot be visualized. She wants to paint abstract concepts, intangible occurrences such as heat, cold or transmission of energy, or the non-language notions. Her methods include everything except the typical brush painting. She uses oil paint, glass, foil, volcanic and metamorphic rocks, and colorful fragments of old paintings. Brätsch uses stiff paint, that she previously hardened in water, so the small marbelized splashes of color can be applied to her work instead of regular paint. The marbleizing technique consists of dropping a small amount of paint, or ink from a great height into the water.

new view york exhibitions museum exhibition search gallery new new modern modern Kerstin Bratsch - Treat Your Own Neck, with Das Institut, 2011, photo credits Deste
Kerstin Bratsch – Treat Your Own Neck, with Das Institut, 2011, photo credits Deste

Atypical Displaying and the Engagement in DAS INSTITUT

Kerstin Brätsch was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1979. She studied at the University of Arts in Berlin, and at Columbia Univeristy in New York and graduated with MA in Fine Arts in 2007. She creates large pieces that she displays in a specific manner. It is as far as possible from the standard form of exhibiting artwork. She hangs her works by magnets, puts them into double glass frames and leans them on the wall while keeping them on the ground. Using this peculiar method of presentation, she combines a little bit of performance art into her visual works. Along with her solo career, she is also a part of the artistic duo DAS INSTITUT that she co-funded with artist Adele Röder. They were inspired by export-import business associations, and organized their team in order to explore how the artwork has been selling, moving, exhibiting, and how modern day art dealers do their business. Together they make works from glass, projected images, and neon particles.

In the Unstable Talismanic Renderings the artist presented large pieces made of several inherent fragments

new new new view york exhibitions museum exhibition search gallery Kerstin Bratsch - Unstable Talismanic Renderings at the Gavin Brown Enterprise
Kerstin Bratsch – Unstable Talismanic Renderings at the Gavin Brown Enterprise

Unstable Nature of Language

One of her motivational drives is the power of language. Speaking both German and English she questions the concept of naming and plays her way into the philosophy of language. Creative arts and crafts work on the opposite note of determination, so when she makes her pieces she leaves them open to the interpretation. The power is not in the meaning, it is in the reference. The viewer can play with the definitions, references, and symbolism. Misunderstanding, different origins of words, misleading connotations, those are the tools that artist can use in storytelling. In the Unstable Talismanic Renderings series from 2013, she presented large pieces made of several inherent fragments, that together escaped the coherent definition. That is why the talismans are unstable because they make their own rules of interpretation. That is how her language of painting works. It operates outside of the usual framework, giving both the artist and the audience a chance to find their own unique sense.

Both in her solo work and in DAS INSTITUT, Bratsch shows the desire to push the boundaries of abstraction

new view york exhibitions museum exhibition gallery new series Kerstin Bratsch - Item from Das Institute Collaboration (Left), Installation from Das Institute Collaboration (Right), photo credits Dismuse
Kerstin Bratsch – Item from Das Institute Collaboration (Left), Installation from Das Institute Collaboration (Right), photo credits Dismuse

Pushing the Boundaries of Abstraction

Brätsch’s posters, paintings, sculptures, and performances are everything but static. They rely on interpersonal communication, that exists only in its dynamic character. Both in her solo work and in DAS INSTITUT, she shows the vigorous desire to push the boundaries of abstraction. The combination of materials is chaotic, but the result is elegant and sophisticated. She does not attempt to deconstruct the concept of abstraction, she merely offers a different view. The items she uses originate from another dimension, and together they give a chance to enter a different universe. She uses various types of paint, mixing it with epoxy, plastic, plexiglass and metal. The way she displays her work, on transparent surfaces or in a sculptural manner, adds a powerful property to the whole concept.

Kerstin Brätsch lives and works in New York.

Featured image: Kerstin Bratsch – Brätsch in her Williamsburg, Brooklyn, studio with one of her pieces (Detail), 2014, photo credits WMagazine

All images used for illustrative purpose only © Kerstin Brätsch

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2017Kerstin BratschMuseum Brandhorst, Munich, GermanySolo
2016Kerstin BratschGio Marconi, Milano, ItalySolo
2016Kerstin Bratsch and Adele Roder as DAS INSTITUTSerpentine Sackler Gallery, London, UKDuo
2016DIE MARMORY SHOW IIIGuilty Pleasures, Deborah Schamoni, Munich, Germany Solo
2016KAYA (Kerstin Bratsch and Debo Eilers)Deborah Schamoni, Munich, GermanyDuo
2015N.O. Madski presents: Klub KAYADeborah Schamoni, Munich, GermanySolo
2015Pele’s CurseThe Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, ILSolo
2015August Macke PrizeKunstverein Arnsberg, Arnsberg, GermanySolo
2015Kerstin BratschThe Arts Club Chicago, Chicago, ILSolo
2015KAYA, with Debo EilersFrac Aquitaine Bordeaux, FranceDuo
2015KAYA V with Nomad, Kerstin Bratsch, Debo EilersMeyer Kainer, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2015No Man’s LandRubell Family Collection, Miami, FLGroup
2015Scenes for a new HeritageContemporary Art from the New Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
2015Off Cardinal Points, KrauperTuskanyZeider as DAS INSTITUT with Allison KatzBerlin, GermanyGroup
2015JahresgabenKunstverein Munchen as KAYA, Munich, GermanyGroup
2015Jahresgaben, NAK Aachen as KAYAAachen, GermanyGroup
2015Full of Peril and Weirdness: Painting as a UniversalismMWoods Museum, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2015Aishti Foundation OpeningBeirut, LebanonGroup
2015Painting 2.0: Expression in the information ageMuseum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany Group
2015The Pleasure of the TextCampoli Presti, London, UKGroup
2015The RadiantsBortolami, New YorkGroup
2015Call and ResponseGavin Brown's enterprise, New YorkGroup
2015A vue de pied, a vue de nez, une exposition vraiment undergroundFrac Aquitaine, Bourdeaux, FranceGroup
2015Outdoor Project with collaborative work by Debo EilersParamount Ranch, Malibu, Los AngelesGroup
2014Kerstin Bratsch - DAS INSTITUTStadtische Galerie Nordhorn, Nordhorn, GermanyDuo
2014Kunstpreis NordhomStadtische Galerie, Nordhorn, Germany Solo
2014Unstable Talismanic RenderingGavin Brown’s enterprise, New YorkSolo
2014KAYA IV, Kerstin Bratsch - Debo EilersThe Green Gallery, MilwaukeeDuo
2014The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal WorldThe Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY Group
2014Merike Estna & I'm a PaintingKUMU Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia Group
2014One step ahead going backwards, KAYA (Kerstin Bratsch & Debo Eilers) with NOMADBerlin, Germany Group
2014Forever Now: Painting in the New MillenniumThe Museum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
2014KAYA I II III Nomad, Kerstin Bratsch - Debo Eilers and Nomad, in Speculations on Anonymous Materials Fridericianum, Kassel, GermanyGroup
2014No Drink, No Talk, Just BeautifulOn Stellar Rays, New YorkGroup
2014Come Into My Castle as KAYAOld Room, New YorkGroup
2014Merike Estna & I’m a paintingKumu Art Museum, Tallinn, EstoniaGroup
2014Some Artists’ ArtistsMarian Goodman Gallery, New YorkGroup
2014Hypothesis for an ExhibitionDominique Levy GalleryGroup
2014Room ServiceKunsthalle Baden Baden, Baden Baden, GermanyGroup
2014Les Derives de la photographieFrac Aquitain, FranceGroup
2013KAYA III, Kerstin Bratsch - Debo Eilers47 Canal, New YorkDuo
2013The System of ObjectsDeste Foundation, Athens, GreeceGroup
2013Wassup Painters?Anat Ebgi, Los AngelesGroup
2013Avant de rentrer, il faut incendier la maison, Thomas DuncanLos Angeles Gaylen Gerber, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago Group
2013EXPO1: New York, MoMAPS1, Long Island City, New York Group
2013Preis der NationalgalerieHamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2013Futur II, IFAKunstverein Frankfurt, Frankfurt, GermanyGroup
2013Catch as Catch CanLocks Gallery, PhiladelphiaGroup
2013November IssueMathew Galerie, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2013The Pink Panther Imitates NothingRhode Island School of Design Memorial Hall Gallery, ProvidenceGroup
2013JahresgabenPrince Of Wales, MunichGroup
2013Giant Ice Cream Cones1m3, LausanneGroup
2013Contribution to Anicka YiStudiolo, ZurichGroup
2013Why Painting Now?MeyerKainer, ViennaGroup
2013APNewsZurich, BBQGroup
2013Sol per sfogare il Core (painting as Monster)Bomarzo, ItalyGroup
2013BuyBratschWurst_compressedWurstPate Imbiss Kopenicker Strasse, BerlinGroup
2013Risk SocietyMuseum for Contemporary Art Taipei, TaipeiGroup
2013Parallel ProcessingUniversity of Washington School of Art, Seattle Group
2013Gutai concrete escortGuggenheim Museum, New YorkGroup
2013Festival der KleinskulpturHalle fur Kunst Luneburg, Luneburg, GermanyGroup
2013Independent Art Fair, with Thomas Bayrle)Gavin Brown's enterprise, NYDuo
2013The Fifth Season of the Artist’s InstitutePerformance with Viola Yesiltac, NYDuo
2012Maler, den Pinsel prufendGavin Brown’s enterprise, New YorkSolo
2012Kerstin Bratsch - Nadja AbtMathew Gallery, Berlin, GermanyDuo
2012Glow Rod Tanning with - COMCORRODER, with Adele Roder as DAS INSTITUT Pop Up Store, Gio Marconi Gallery, Milan, ItalyDuo
2012KAYA II, Kerstin Bratsch - Debo EilersVarious Small Fires, Los AngelesSolo
2012Der Kunstpreis der Bottcherstrasse in BremenKunsthalle Bremen, Bremen, GermanyGroup
2012SoundworksInstitute of Contemporary Arts, London, UKGroup
2012The Painting Factory: Abstraction After WarholMuseum of Contemporary Art, Los AngelesGroup
2012Cleopatras Jewelry showFamily Business, New YorkGroup
2012Fukushima Biennial, as DAS INSTITUT with UNITED BROTHERSFukushima, JapanGroup
2012SpritzGreen Tea Gallery, Iwaki, Fukushima, JapanGroup
2012John Henderson, Gaylen Gerber, DI w AK, as DAS INSTITUT with Allison KatzFamily Business, New YorkGroup
2012Phantom LimbMuseum of Contemporary Art Chicago, ChicagoGroup
2012Tanning (remembering 3 - 11)Bulletin Board, New YorkGroup
2012The Piano LessonVilma Gold, LondonGroup
2012I SurrenderDan Devening Projects, ChicagoGroup
2012All UNITED BROTHERS VideosGreen Gallery, MilwaukeeGroup
2012Iwaki Odori (Sunbathed Museum) with UNITED BROTHERS and Sergei TscherepninArt Institute of Chicago, ChicagoGroup
2011BLACKY Blocked Radiants Sunbathed with Adele Roder as DAS INSTITUT and UNITED BROTHERSHalle fur Kunst Luneburg, Luneburg, GermanyDuo
2011Vorahnung [United Brothers and Sisters] - Kerstin Bratsch and Adele RoderKunsthalle Zurich, Zurich, SwitzerlandDuo
2011Kerstin Bratsch & DAS INSTITUT: Treat Your Own NeckDeste Foundation, Athens, GreeceDuo
2011Nichts, Nichts - with Adele Roder as DAS INSTITUTKolnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, GermanyDuo
2011Number Five: Cities of Gold and MirrorsJulia Stoschek Collection, Dusseldorf, GermanyGroup
2011ILLUMInations54th Venice Biennial, Venice, ItalyGroup
2011Crepe de Chine, as DAS INSTITUT with UNITED BROTHERSOoga Booga, Los AngelesGroup
2011Jahresgaben, as DAS INSTITUTNeuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, GermanyGroup
2011Jahresgaben, as DAS INSTITUT with UNITED BROTHERSKunstverein Munchen, Munchen, GermayGroup
2011Jahresgaben, as DAS INSTITUT with Albrecht FuchsKolnischer Kunstverein, Koln, GermanyGroup
2010Rien, Rien - with Adele Roder as DAS INSTITUTCentre d’art contemporain, Parc Saint Leger, Pougues les Eaux, FranceDuo
2010Broadway Bratsch - Corporate AbstractionStatements Art Basel 41, Balice Hertling, Basel, SwitzerlandSolo
2010THUS - DAS INSTITUTNew Jerseyy, Basel, SwitzerlandDuo
2010KAYA, Kerstin Bratsch - Debo Eilers179 Canal, New YorkDuo
2010Leopards In The Temple with Adele Roder as DAS INSTITUTSculpture Center, New YorkGroup
2010Gwangju BiennaleKoreaGroup
2010Greater New York, MoMAPS1, New YorkGroup
2010Held Up By ColumnsRenwick Gallery, New YorkGroup
2010Vertically Integrated ManufacturingMurray Guy Gallery, New YorkGroup
2010And So On, And So OnHarris Lieberman Gallery, New YorkGroup
2010The InhabitantsVilma Gold, London, UKGroup
2010Behind the CurtainGio Marconi Gallery, Milan, ItalyGroup
2010The PursuerGreene Naftali Gallery, New YorkGroup
2009BUYBRATSCHWORST - DAS INSTITUT and Jane JoBalice Hertling, Paris, FranceDuo
2009BUYBRATSCHWORSTGHOST - Kerstin Bratsch and DAS INSTITUTHermes und der Pfau, Stuttgart, GermanyDuo
2009Younger Than JesusNew Museum of Contemporary Art, New YorkGroup
2009SolarisGio Marconi, Milan, ItalyGroup
2009Besides, With, Against, And Yet - Abstraction and the Ready-Made GestureThe Kitchen, New YorkGroup
2009ModernmodernChelsea Art Museum, New YorkGroup
2009Art Berlin ContemporaryAkademie der Kunste, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2009No Bees, No BlueberriesHarris Lieberman, New YorkGroup
2009Bridges And TunnelsHard Hat, Geneva, SwitzerlandGroup
2009Non-Solo Show, Non-Group ShowKunsthalle Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2009Tbilisi 6. Never on Sunday, performance with Ei Arakawa and Tobias MadisonTiflis, GeorgiaGroup
2009Piggy BanksSamsa, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2009Max Hans Daniel PresentAutocenter, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2009Kehraus, Abschied von stabilen WandenWestfalischer Kunstverein, MunsterGroup
2008D.I.WHY_Successful Apologies - DAS INSTITUTSwiss Institute, New YorkDuo
2008When You See Me Again It Won’t Be Me - with Adele Roder and Urania Fasoulidou, incl. performance by It’s Our Pleasure To Serve YouSmith Stewart Gallery, New YorkDuo
2008Papers Scissors StoneGalerie Nordenhake, Stockholm, SwedenGroup
2008Standard SizesAndrew Kreps, New YorkGroup
2008Would You Like Some Coffee?The Unfair Fair, Rome, ItalyGroup
2008Nichts Ist Aufregend, Nichts Ist Sexy, Nichts Ist Nicht PeinlichMuseum fur Moderne Kunst Vienna, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2008UOVO Open OfficeArt Basel, Basel Art FairGroup
2008YESAR Contemporary Gallery, Milan, ItalyGroup
2008New Images - Unisex New Images - UnisexKevin Bruk Gallery, MiamiGroup
2008Hidden Treasure – Objectives of artistic antecedent lifeGeneral Public, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2008SALOON 1 (Kerstin Bratsch - Blake Rayne)New YorkGroup
2007Eva’s Arche und der FeministPasserby, New YorkSolo
2007Exposition n 1Balice Hertling, Paris, FranceGroup
2007Fractured in AspectAndrew Kreps Gallery, New YorkGroup
2007Regroup ShowMiguel Abreu, New YorkGroup
2007The String ShowGreene Naftali Gallery, New YorkGroup
2007New MisunderstandingsMoti Hasson Gallery, New YorkGroup
2004Bookies (artists books exhibition)Gallery m29, Bruckner und Richter, Cologne, GermanyGroup