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Body / Sculptures

about Hans Breder

As early as 1964, Hans Breder had documented his own artistic “interventions” placing a rectangular mirror in a riverbed and photographing the play between the real and illusory worlds. Subsequent sculptures placed highly polished metal forms onto black and white grounds so that no point of view would be similar. But from 1969 – 1973 Hans returned to photography with a singular passion and focus creating multiple series of works that would come to be collectively known as Body / Sculptures.

The series started in the studio where the artist’s earlier river photographs had left off, again using a mirrored surface to create a connection between space, body, and the fragmentation of form. After the studio works, Hans returned to photographing in nature, both in Iowa and on annual trips to Mexico where his models were dancers and where he shot film and video of Mendieta. Using single figures and groups Breder continued to “remove the barrier between the real and the looking glass world” until by 1973, he felt he had exhausted the possibilities of the series.

Born in Germany, in 1935, Hans studied architecture and painting and in 1964 moved to New York where he became the sculptor George Rickey’s assistant. He died in Iowa City, Iowa on June 18, 2017.

The same way as for Kandinsky, Malevich and Mondrian for Hans the task of art, as a kind of thought, is spiritual. His work seeks to articulate and evoke an ineffable power beyond reason and unreason. Against the monumental materialism of Western culture, over the last six decades, Hans’s intermedial sensibility has been expressed in and between painting, sculpture, photography, music, installation, video and film — each expression an invitation to subversive liminality and momentary transcendence.

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