Uli Brahmst: On Being A Woman

January 21 - March 12, 2020

Uli Brahmst: On Being a Woman postcard detail

Reception: Thursday, AHA! Night, February 13, 6-8 pm, Artist Talk 6.30 pm
Closing Reception: Thursday, AHA! Night, March 12, 6-8 pm

German born artist Uli Brahmst has been living and working in Canada, the Czech Republic and since 1996, in the United States.

Brahmst’s spirited portfolio encompasses painting, sculpture, fiber art, digital art as well as site-specific installation that will be presented at the UMass Dartmouth University Art Gallery in Downtown New Bedford from January 21 through March 12. The artist moves freely between abstraction and the figure, often featuring the feminine and feminist themes and materials that inspire visitors to touch, feel and experience their poignancy. Her imaginative work has been shown extensively in the United States and around the world.

Work by Uli Brahmst in University Art Gallery
Sanctuary II, 2020; branches, wool, watercolor on rice paper, chalk, clay, gold leaf, wood mounted inkjet prints

German born artist Uli Brahmst presents a complex, visceral and evocative exhibition of drawings, prints, fiber art, and site-specific installation, all of which feature a powerful exploration of her life as a daughter, sister, mother, artist, partner, citizen, and emigrant.

The exhibition at UMass Dartmouth University Art Gallery in Downtown New Bedford is open free of charge through March 12 with the reception and artist talk on Thursday, February 13th. The gallery is open daily, 9 am to 6 pm.
"On being a Woman", is a distinctly feminine show. Although there is embroidery, felt, floral fabric, silk, vintage teacups, the show is not benign and submissively ornamental.

Four panels of vertical sheets of fabric at the entrance, titled Interface, carry printed images of screenshots taken from the artist's computer with familiar icons on the bottom and the original German version of her name, Ulrike Brahmst, on the top. United by red tears hovering over the panels these prints show the artist’s work juxtaposed with everyday media images such as an abused woman, refugees, or those connected to the current impeachment proceedings.

Uli Brahmst states, “As an artist, it is my experience, that the real and the surreal live surprisingly close together and are frequently intertwined. Consequently, my work flows freely between the two. Imagination transforms the mundane and the moralistic into something mysterious, breathes life into the ordinary and stretches the parameters of commonplace reality allowing new and uncommon images to enter. In this space, vision can enfold and empower us to move from cognitive confinement to a deeper understanding of humanity.”

Brahmst’s strong drawing skills manifest themselves in various forms throughout the show, both on paper and fabric, small scale and also larger than life. The most intimate of these is a box of 12 pencil and pen drawings that we are invited to interact with, titled On Being A Woman. Their simple black lines transform into an intimate world that we happen to witness. These women are archetypes, cautious and strong, trying to find their own voice, their own space, community and strength within this world.

In the site specific installation, Sanctuary II, (branches, wool, watercolor on rice paper, chalk, clay, gold leaf, wood mounted inkjet prints) the knitted wool covering tree branches connects the natural and domestic in a metaphorical forest of memories, longing and/or be-longing. The branches are lining a river, represented by dusting blue pigment made from chalk as well as by the shimmer inside of ceramic bowls scattered around the floor. There are drawings of geese above the branches in this evocative environment, underlined by the interactive sounds of geese. It is as if they were flying over as do our primordial memories of the women in our life, who are able to create not only things out of yarn, but also to pass on stories in an atmosphere of intimacy and belonging.

Uli, however, doesn't stop in nostalgia. Escape to the quiet world of knitting is something she cannot do anymore. The images of displaced migrants, forest fires, global warming and other intense imagery from today's news appear between the branches as a reference to the unstoppable reality she has to strive to mend.

Biography

Uli Brahmst has been living and working in Canada, the Czech Republic and since 1996, in the United States. The artist moves freely between abstraction and the figure, between the seemingly benign domestic sphere and one that is both political and urgent, often featuring the feminine and feminist themes and materials. Her imaginative work has been shown extensively in the United States and around the world.

In New York City, Brahmst has exhibited in such venues as Galeria Galou, Pierogi, Lehman College Art Gallery, Rotunda Gallery, Cave Gallery, Cork Gallery at Lincoln Center, Exit Art, Art Expo, The German Consulate, Pool Art Fair, the New Art Center and Wuersch & Gering LLP. Currently, her work is presented in a group exhibition at LES Gallery at The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center.

The U.S. venues include the Newport Art Museum, Bannister Gallery, Jamestown Art Center, Providence Art Club, Bristol Art Museum, Feinstein Gallery, Hera Gallery (RI), Islip Museum, CT; the New Jersey Center For Visual Art; Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, WI; Tacoma Contemporary, Tacoma, WA.

Other international venues include Museo De Bellas Artes, Caracas; Corp Group Cultural Center, Caracas; Nam June Paik Museum at Tae Gu Teback Gallery, Korea; 10th International Quilt Festival, Yokohama, Japan; ARWI Contemporary Art Fair, Puerto Rico; Galerie Radost, Prague; and Galerie R31, Berlin.


Gallery University Art Gallery