Marlborough Contemporary is pleased to announce an exhibition of sculpture by the American artist Sarah Braman. Her first solo in the U.K., the show highlights Braman’s signature commitment to infusing the recent art historical canon with distinctly American vernacular traditions and the suggestion of their dissolution.
Refined fabricated materials such as tinted glass and welded steel are used in combination with lowly stumps and logs, salvaged doors (from both bedroom and car), and discarded mattresses. The permanent yard sales and “free stuff” offerings that litter the countryside of Braman’s native New England become source material, both formally and in spirit, engaging their desperation and perseverance. In this manner, webbed folding chairs piled atop a raw wooden plinth simultaneously retain the persistent echo of Modernist design and the throwaway ethos of deck furniture.
The colours of the sunset—painted, dyed and also depicted in photographs affixed to the sculptures—carry a seductive allure, but also a melancholy note that reminds us that all days must come to an end. This unexpectedly emotive and painterly quality fuses object and surface, tying the disparate sculptural components together, as well as lending a quiet power to the wall-mounted plywood colourfields.
Braman addresses the great triumph and albatross of Minimalism and its antecedents, infusing them with light and the casual spirit and humility of the found object. Her sculptures succeed in tracing a line between Donald Judd and chainsaw art without any loss of gravity or humor.
Sarah Braman was born in 1970 in Tonawanda, New York. She currently lives and works between New York and Amherst, Massachusetts and is also one of the founders of the artist-run Canada gallery in New York. Braman received a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and an MFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Solo exhibitions include You Are Everything, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, NY (2016); Sarah Braman: Alive, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2013-14) and Lay Me Down, MACRO, Rome (2011). Braman has also participated in group exhibitions at Kunsthalle Helsinki (2016); The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City (2015). In 2013, she was the recipient of the Maud Morgan Prize from MFA, Boston.