Shop the Show: Zurich-Based Artist Maya Bringolf Scours Thrift Stores to Bring New Life to Old Objects

"Maya Bringolf: Light Up" is on view at Galerie Bromer through November 6.

Installation view,
Installation view, "Maya Bringolf - Light Up" at Galerie Bromer.

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What You Need to Know: In Switzerland’s Galerie Bromer, the Schaffhausen-born, Zurich-based artist Maya Bringolf considers the cyclical process of converting raw materials into usable objects for everyday life. As supply chains around the world are interrupted and we’re forced to consider the intricate steps taken to make the things we need, Bringolf’s hole-riddled artworks and epoxy-laden materials are reflections of creation and destruction. The artist traverses thrift stores to find the cast-off furniture that once represented economic and material success for its owners, and then enacts laborious interventions that mimic the effects of melting and burning upholstery and molded plastic.

Why We Like It: In the world of designer clothes, pristine landscaping, and the perfectly symmetrical Instagram aesthetic that pervades our unconscious, Bringolf’s work stands in stark opposition. Bringolf’s “up-cycled” found objects inhabit the stark white cube: intricately embroidered carpets are dappled with burned holes, office chairs are twisted into monstrous sculptures, and wax-coated work jackets seem to have been dipped in aluminum foil and mounted on the walls. Objects of decoration and utility are stripped of their purpose, but the viewer is left to question if they are ruined, improved, or simply changed.

Installation view, "Maya Bringolf - Light Up" at Galerie Bromer.

Installation view, “Maya Bringolf – Light Up” at Galerie Bromer.

What the Gallery Says: Virtually no art can anticipate the imagery that will kindle connotations in our minds one day. This summer’s forest fires in Turkey and Greece have nurtured the vision of burnt furniture in our mind’s eye. The pandemic has made constant airflow inside schools and businesses companies a rallying cry.

The plight of refugees brings us face to face with those left high and dry by unwilling migration. So it is no coincidence that Bringolf’s cast-off trench coats merge with images of migrant misery. The coat is an outer skin that embodies the disposable cult, superfluous to survival, but the Burberry trench persists, exhibiting a desire for durability and elegance. Epoxy resin sealant and car paint bond tramps and police inspectors, scrap and chassis all together.

Installation view, "Maya Bringolf - Light Up" at Galerie Bromer.

Installation view, “Maya Bringolf – Light Up” at Galerie Bromer.

The objects in our lives have crossed continents, peer out at us from family albums, and remind us of the history of film. In these never-ending cycles, we risk being smothered by stuff. Maya Bringolf’s art resounds with the echo of our bodies,” writes Isabel Zürcher.

 

Maya Bringolf
Flare Up (2020)
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Maya Bringolf, <i>Flare Up</i> (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Bromer.

Maya Bringolf, Flare Up (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Bromer.

 

Maya Bringolf
Iron Coat II (2020)
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Maya Bringolf, <iIron Coat II</i> (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Bromer.

Maya Bringolf, (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Bromer.

 

Maya Bringolf
Shaggy (2021)
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Maya Bringolf, <i>Shaggy</I> (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Bromer.

Maya Bringolf, Shaggy (2021). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Bromer.

 

Maya Bringolf
Inhale Exhale (2019)
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Maya Bringolf, <i>Inhale Exhale</i> (2019). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Bromer.

Maya Bringolf, Inhale Exhale (2019). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Bromer.

 

Maya Bringolf
All turns to Dust I (2020)
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Maya Bringolf, <i>All turns to Dust I</I> (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Bromer.

Maya Bringolf, All turns to Dust I (2020). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Bromer.


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