Cris Brodahl’s monochromatic oil paintings are configurations of fractured beauty that carry undertones of violence, sexuality, the subconscious and the uncanny.
Brodahl uses techniques reminiscent of Surrealism such as free association and simulation of collage through oil paint to create sombre and emotionally charged compositions suggesting strong psychological undercurrents. Brodahl sources imagery from fashion magazines and old interiors publications. For this exhibition, she also uses the self-portrait as a vehicle for her explorations. These seductive and monstrous depictions of distorted and re-represented femininity are tightly controlled by Brodahl’s mastery of paint. Disembodied parts and the displacement of recognizable figures stilt the sensuousness of the realistically painted flesh. The timelessness of the works is accentuated by Brodahl’s palette, which evokes a sense of nostalgia in its sepia and grey tones.
The exhibition at The Approach W1 is typical of the artist’s attention to fine detail and installation concerns. Brodahl uses screens, mirrors and metal supports to act as subtle devices to control the environment and viewing experience. For the first time the artist will be showing sculptures as part of the considered installation. As with the paintings, the sculptures are a curious amalgamation of found elements. Along with cut materials such as mirrors and wood there are objects cast in bronze mixed with figurines bought from local charity shops in her hometown of Gent in Belgium.