bern-switzerland

Vittorio Brodmann, Anyone May Add More Testimony, 2015, oil and acrylic on canvas, 17 3/4 × 21 5/8".

Vittorio Brodmann

Kunsthalle Bern

Vittorio Brodmann, Anyone May Add More Testimony, 2015, oil and acrylic on canvas, 17 3/4 × 21 5/8".

In an article published in 2015, Hans Ulrich Obrist declared that “at the beginning of the year I could have been convinced that really everywhere in the American art scene, people were talking about the Swiss painter Vittorio Brodmann.” This statement could almost be a line from one of Brodmann’s own jokes. The subtle undercutting of the statement with the modal verb could suggests the possibility that Brodmann wasn’t really famous: It was all a setup, an elaborate prank. It would be poetic justice if Obrist’s caution turned out to be well founded—if Brodmann’s fame were the product of an elaborate practical joke.

Brodmann is a kind of abject expressionist, his paintings echoing the faux naïveté of Tala Madani, the chromatic frenzy of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and the automatism of André Masson. Brodmann’s process takes off from arbitrary marks, followed by careful extrapolations.

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