Hauser & Wirth Somerset welcomes Stefan Brüggemann as artist-in-residence this February. Born in Mexico City and working between Mexico and London, the artist will continue his ‘Eroded Paintings’ series, launched during Art Basel Miami Beach 2021. The outdoor installation of 13 panels at Arca Warehouse in Wynwood, Miami, was a unique partnership with Grupo Arca.
The series of marble slabs, each engraved with Brüggemann’s poem ‘Eroded Language’, are spray painted with the day’s headlines on the subject of climate change, in a process of sedimentation and layering that both obscures and reveals the meaning of our present climate.
Eroded mental landscape
‘Eroded Paintings’ draws on the natural phenomena of sedimentation and erosion to explore environmental and semiotic pollution. Just as the endless accumulation of carbon, plastic and industrial waste in our environment threatens our long-term survival, so too the endless accumulation of alarmist headlines, political slogans and party propaganda in our discourse erodes our sense of reality. These processes do not just mirror each other. They are linked. The increasing confusion between scientific understanding and folk narratives exemplifies our highly degraded semiotic landscape, and the difficulty of tackling environmental pollution when our discourse is itself polluted.
Encompassing sculpture, video, painting, and drawing, Brüggemann’s work deploys text in conceptual installations rich with acerbic social critique and a post pop aesthetic. His oeuvre is characterised by an ironic conflation of Conceptualism and Minimalism with a punk attitude. In this way, Brüggemann’s practice sits outside the canon of the conceptual artists practicing in the 1960s and 1970s, who sought dematerialisation and rejected the commercialisation of art.