An artist with unpaired creative output, von Bruenchenhein (born 1910) produced an expansive universe of multiple mediums spanning from poetry, photography, ceramics, sculpture, painting and ballpoint drawing for over a 50-year period, between the late 1930s until his death in 1983. He lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and worked as a baker during most of his life, but cultivated a passion for botany and history, and wrote extensively on his own metaphysical theories of biological and cosmological origins and the primal genesis of a genetically encoded collective knowledge.
Most remarkable perhaps are von Bruenchenhein's countless photographs of his lifelong obsession „Marie” (her real name was Eveline Kalke), his wife and muse he had met in 1939 at a state fair in Wisconsin and who he believed descendent from blue blooded royalty. Shot before patterned backdrops (often curtains or bedsheets with leaf and floral motifs) with exotic costumes, strings of beads and even ornaments for Christmas trees, von Bruenchenhein turned Marie into the object of his desires in intimate vignettes: a tropical princess, a topless ingénue, a Madonna or a tinseltown vamp staged in a luscious mise en scène at their domestic Midwestern home, where he developed the photographs in a makeshift darkroom. His work was known mainly to family and closed friends during von Bruenchenhein's lifetime, but was only publicly recognized after his death.
In recent years, Eugene von Bruenchenheins work has been shown at the New Museum (2008), the American Folk Art Museum (2010-11), the Hayward Gallery London (2013) and the international group show at the 2013 Venice Biennale. It is represented in outstanding museum collections including the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum, American Folk Art Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
This exhibition was organized in collaboration with Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York.