Martos Gallery is pleased to present Sofi Brazzeal’s first solo show with the gallery, Hi cruel dame, adieu Mr. Lech, on view from June 27th through August 11, 2017.
The exhibition will include oil paintings and works on paper.
There is no given theme or motif except the insistent, incessant treatment of the figure, and groups of figures, and indeterminate manifestations of power between them.
Often depicted in closed rooms or close quarters, the figures in Brazzeal’s work abandon any pretense to civility and decorum. Mired in ennui, some figures seem to putter casually about the spaces they inhabit; they posture, and at other times throw histrionic fits.
I didn’t know what I was doing. I never explained anything. I collected everything I could, and I took the same approach to color. Instead of narrowing and isolating, I tried to throw myself into many directions at once. Not because I like color. I do not like color. But there were precise gestures and movements I would get myself to do. Sometimes, if I was a little strained and not really into it, I would keep painting. I painted like a painter who was not that comfortable. I wasn’t sure if these paintings belonged to me. That’s how I felt. I wanted to exploit emotions; emotions exploited me. The figures are sometimes lumpy and unflattering, pathetic... the figures are awkward or brutal, they grimace and screech. They try to rule each other and try to upstage each other, but they are never of anyone in particular. They love and the object of their love betrays them. I painted them in claustrophobic rooms. Except one was somewhere like an open field.
I tried to escape the tyranny of rules imposed on me. I wrote letters soliciting advice, which terrorized me.
Sofi Brazzeal (b. 1984) lives and works in New York