Robert Breer


Installation, variable dimensions.

Collection: Courtesy gb agency, Paris.

On first sight his minimalist sculptures simply appear like objects on the ground, strongly varying in shape and size. An uninformed or hasty viewer will see nothing else. But those who give it enough time will notice that the sculptures move in slowmotion across the space, following an erratic or even rectilinear pattern. When they encounter an obstacle, they stop and change direction.

Breer made his first Floats in the 1960's, and gave them new life in the 1990's. It is one of his most discrete and yet most important statements as an artist: the artwork moves over the same ground as the public. Or conversely: the visitor shares the pedestal with the artwork. As a viewer, you become their travel companion, you follow the direction of their journey and so become implicated in the project's execution. Robert Breer was not only a sculptor; he gained fame as an experimental filmmaker as well. In fact he is best known for his film work, where he combines figurative paintings with drawings. In contrast to his almost imperceptively slow moving sculptures, his films are quite speedy, even explosive. He is also the author of several flipbooks. It was with one of these that he took part in the groundbreaking 1955 exhibition Le Mouvement in the Galérie Denise René, which became the launch pad for the kinetic art movement.

“In all my work I tried to amaze myself with something, and the only way you can amaze yourself is to create a situation in which an accident can happen.” (Robert Breer)

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