Fred Mann is delighted to present the very first London solo exhibition by Laura Bruce entitled Love and Other Machines. Laura Bruce, an American has lived and worked in Berlin for the last 17 years, and this exhibition looks in depth at her complex and varied practice. This major presentation will include her paintings, drawings, and sculptures.
Laura Bruce makes work about the relationships between nature and myth. Her paintings, drawings and sculpture represent transitions between the real world and another plane. They morph between reality and fantasy through the use of abstraction, her “Drips dropping, spinning, and evaporating”. Her images burst with blobs and the bubbles that break down the barriers between the landscape and another imaginary world.
In her series of highly worked drawings nature has a complete life of its own, a type of parallel life that we are not aware of. She explores nature as a protagonist. They are also an exploration of drawing in itself, concentrating on the basics of black and white and everything in between. Her large paintings take this further, here Bruce creates layers, working on large wood panels. She likes the hardness of wood surface and the way the brushes “scratch” along the surface, allowing her to draw with paint. The addition of an amazing colour palette enhances the fantasy element of her landscapes, and a virtual kingdom, on the edge of abstraction is explored.
Her sculptures have a childlike “model” quality, a roughly hewn approach to narrative. Like “toy” sets for a play we have never seen, the objects are painted and cluster on work-horse like trestles and tell a linear story, like a Chinese scroll. Bruce studied sculpture at the Slade, and throughout her works, structure and narrative and a fascination with linear objects, prevails.
Alongside her paintings, drawings and sculptures, Bruce will exhibit a series of “over–painted works” using old prints that depict a romanticized idea of nature, Bruce places a Disney-like or cartoonified layer on top of the very serious and history-laden images. Here Disney meets Casper David Friedrich, Mickey Mouse meets the Young Werther.