Standing at over ten metres tall, Olaf Breuning’s Clouds compete with the towering treescape of Cass Sculpture Foundation. Held in place by rudimentary steel supports, the six cartoonish clouds are cut from polished aluminium and powder-coated in different hues of bright blue. Clouds is a permanent realisation of an earlier work in which Breuning used lifting cranes and boom lifts to elevate large blue cut-out drawings of clouds into the air for a momentary staged photograph. Their whimsical bulbous shapes and blue finishes are reminiscent of a child’s rendering of the sky or the set of a primary school play. Breuning’s Clouds harness this innocence to contrast with their surrounding environment. This naive depiction of the natural world provides a poignant counterpoint to the harsh realities of climate change created by human civilisation.
With thanks to Metro Pictures, New York
About The Artist
Olaf Breuning’s diverse body of work is united by his distinctive sense of humour. His drawings, photographs, videos, and sculptures utilise a deliberately simple visual vocabulary to address a variety of human concerns. Combining this colourful and deceptively wide-eyed visual style with cultural symbols and archetypes, Breuning’s work comments on many of the most poignant and urgent facets of human experience. Humour and innocence work to disarm everyday distractions that obscure profoundexistential concerns, as well as mundane truths. Yet Breuning’s work is never a reduction or simplification. Rather, his work crystalises particular themes and situations, allowing viewers to reflect on both the diversity of human experience and the commonalities we all share.