Mind's Mirror | Hans Breder: 1964-2014

Installation Views

“Mind’s Mirror | Hans Breder 1964-2014” opens this Thursday May 8 and Friday May 9 at Ethan Cohen New York with performances by the renowned German-American conceptual artist. Opening receptions at the Chelsea gallery will be held on both days from 6pm to 9pm, with Hans Breder conducting a live “Body/Sculpture” performance in New York for the first time since 1970.


For the past five decades, intermedia pioneer Hans Breder (b. 1935) has explored intersections between painting, sculpture, photography, music and video. This exhibition highlights the full scope of his oeuvre: five new paintings from the Opsis series documenting Breder’s personal investigations in the neuro-ophthalmology of image perception, the recent film installation Who is Afraid of Yellow, Red and Blue? (2014), as well as original silver gelatin prints from the 1969-73 documentary photographs of his “Body/Sculpture” performance series. The sculpture Ordered By Telephone exemplifies Breder’s conceptual methods; the work is composed of Plexiglas sheets ordered to precise specifications from an industrial fabricator, leaving the artist no material role in the work’s production. In the performances, live models will receive and enact Breder's pre-recorded directions. His most radical works comprise his deconstructions/reconstructions of 20th-century modernists in the Recycled Masters series (2010), in which works on paper by Delaunay, Kliun, Masson, Matisse, Miro, Popova, Senkin, Sofronova and Wols are dissected and collaged into new compositions.


Trained as a painter in Germany, Breder founded the Intermedia Program at the University of Iowa's School of Art and Art History in 1968 and directed it until 2000. It was the first intermedia program in the world conceived by Breder as an arena within which students could explore the liminal spaces between art practices and intellectual disciplines. His works in this exhibition, such as Body/Sculpture (1969–1973) permit the quick observation of the art establishment's limitations before transgressing them. Breder’s deconstruction of bodies halved by mirrors or of cut up drawings by modern masters decisively severs the line between art objects and their environments, locating them in a process that changes with time and proving the temporality of art itself.