Textural Exhibition in Bristol

Once again, Arnolfini in Bristol is host to a truly amazing exhibition. Cologne-based artist Matti Braun has taken over the three-floor art centre with his stunning texture works.

Galleries 1 and 2 present a series of paintings in which Braun experiments with a variety of media (UV paint, ink, lacquer, etc.), dark colours and textures on raw silk canvases. Parts of the works are matt, others glossy, with some fusion and interaction between colours and media, or with the support itself, thus creating a range of intriguing effects and textures. The fluid grace of the random, yet somehow balanced, compositions is simply beautiful. Floored with rough concrete slabs that make the ground slightly uneven, thus adding texture to a three-dimensional experience, and dimly lit with a few pairs of neon lights (one UV, one normal), Gallery 1 immerses the visitor in an atmosphere that makes Braun’s art all the more captivating.

In Gallery 3, the floor has been covered with a pond liner, then flooded into a dark mirror-like lake and dotted with wood slices as stepping stones. (The wood was sourced locally: a Douglas fir in Westonbirt Arboretum suffering from an invasive fungus had to be felled). The installation is inviting and fun as well as beautiful.

Three patolas hang in Gallery 4. They blend Indian traditional patterns with the modern, flat technique of print on fabric. Where one expects texture, there is none. In Gallery 5, the soft light plays on the rich glaze of the large bowls that appear to be made of fused glass. On getting closer, the expected transparency of the material evaporates like an illusion and we realise they are ceramic bowls.

A must-see before the 6th January.

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