Nature artificielle, artifice naturel Brigitte Engler IMAGES
In Paris in the 1930’s, Brassaï photographed the graffiti carved on the old crumbling walls of the city, finding in this primordial instinct to leave a mark, not so much the impulse to destroy, but the same drive that has motivated others to build pyramids and cathedrals. Bringing the same awareness to our surroundings, Brigitte Engler traces this impulse to create that is evidenced in the vernacular. Her works on paper commemorate the ephemeral and the anonymous graphology situated in the man-made (sidewalk graffiti) and the uncanny pictographs discovered in the ready-made sourced and processed from nature (plywood).
Through mechanical motion of rubbing ink on paper and intentional misprinting of facsimiles, Engler captures a state of reverie with the found. Her sidewalk imprints made by direct contact with the surface of etched concrete illuminate like manuscripts for and of the people. Simultaneously, an oversized wood grain "figure maple" pattern reverberates across the plane with varying degrees of its own likeness, echoing a system of fallible reproducibility and indivisible simulacrum.
Brigitte Engler has called New York City her home since 1980 when she moved from Paris to study at the Whitney ISP. She has shown her work in New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Munich, and Italy. This year she participated in the French-American cultural event "Ceci n'est pas…" with a one-person exhibition at PØST in Los Angeles. This month, she will present her sidewalk imprints at Bullet Space in Memphis as part of "Memphis Social" and a one-person exhibition in Brittany, France in 2014. Her plywood prints were published in Pataphysics magazine with a text by Sylvère Lotringer. She is currently a guest writer for the Huffington Post. This is Brigitte Engler's first show at Commonwealth & Council.