Lak Sol

Matti Braun
June 18 – September 11, 2016

From the Rudolf Smend collection: Rare batiks from Java called Blangkons – folded traditional headdresses worn by men.

 

Photo © Lothar Schnepf

Sand is a recurring motif in the practice of Matti Braun.

 

Photo © Lothar Schnepf

All works:

Untitled, 2016 
Silk, dye, powder-coated aluminium
 

As it catches the light, the slight sheen of the silk makes the progression of colors appear seamless. There is a palpable tension between the works' restraint and their hypnotic lushness created by the combination of apparently simple means and the complexity of their creation, both references to the artist's investigation of cultural phenomena and the more immediate curiosity of how seamless color modulations are created.

 

Visible through the doorway:

From the Rudolf Smend collection: Rare batiks from Java called Blangkons – folded traditional headdresses worn by men. 

 

Photo © Lothar Schnepf

All works:

Untitled, 2016 
Silk, dye, powder-coated aluminium
 

As it catches the light, the slight sheen of the silk makes the progression of colors appear seamless. There is a palpable tension between the works' restraint and their hypnotic lushness created by the combination of apparently simple means and the complexity of their creation, both references to the artist's investigation of cultural phenomena and the more immediate curiosity of how seamless color modulations are created.

 

Photo © Lothar Schnepf

All works:

Untitled, 2016 
Silk, dye, powder-coated aluminium
 

As it catches the light, the slight sheen of the silk makes the progression of colors appear seamless. There is a palpable tension between the works' restraint and their hypnotic lushness created by the combination of apparently simple means and the complexity of their creation, both references to the artist's investigation of cultural phenomena and the more immediate curiosity of how seamless color modulations are created.

 

Photo © Lothar Schnepf

All works:

Untitled, 2016 
Silk, dye, powder-coated aluminium
 

As it catches the light, the slight sheen of the silk makes the progression of colors appear seamless. There is a palpable tension between the works' restraint and their hypnotic lushness created by the combination of apparently simple means and the complexity of their creation, both references to the artist's investigation of cultural phenomena and the more immediate curiosity of how seamless color modulations are created.

 

Photo © Lothar Schnepf

All works:

Untitled, 2016 
Silk, dye, powder-coated aluminium
 

As it catches the light, the slight sheen of the silk makes the progression of colors appear seamless. There is a palpable tension between the works' restraint and their hypnotic lushness created by the combination of apparently simple means and the complexity of their creation, both references to the artist's investigation of cultural phenomena and the more immediate curiosity of how seamless color modulations are created.

 

Photo © Lothar Schnepf

Lak Sol

Matti Braun
Kunstverein Heilbronn
June 18 – September 11, 2016
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Matti Braun’s solo exhibition, Lak Sol, runs June 17 – September 11, 2016 at the Kunstverein Heilbronn. The Indonesian title Lak Sol cannot be translated but functions as homophone: evoking multiple associations and languages. 

 

The show includes a series of fifteen recent abstract works in seamless and deeply saturated color sequences, juxtaposed with a series of rare, historical Javanese batiks from the collection of Rudolf Smend. Smend is not only a collector but has written numerous books on silk painting and batik, and his knowledge and expertise in this field has had a lasting influence on Braun’s practice. 

 

The floor of the exhibition space is covered with light fine-grained sand. The use of sand has been a recurring motif in Braun’s work since 2003 when several tons of Namibian sand was added to a public beach on the small Finnish island of Sandö creating an ephemeral site-specific work. Again in 2009 for Pierre at L’appartement 22, Rabat in Morocco sand was spread across the floor to function as a kind of anchor for cultural and historical references and once again in 2014 for the artist’s exhibition at Esther Schipper in Berlin. Braun’s paintings are made from silk panels mounted in narrow aluminum frames. The dye process used by the artist has its roots in the traditional techniques of textile production often used for religious or ritualistic purposes. Unlike his earlier patola or batik series they no longer show the iconographic traces of their sources. Yet the juxtaposition with traditional batik textiles from the Smend collection highlights Braun’s continued interest in the cultural and historical associations of these time-honored techniques. However, Braun’s work also investigates the unexpected, and the often little known, effects of cross-cultural dynamics, making visible patterns of artistic migration and cultural misrecognition.

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