Kyle Breitenbach

When the Leaves Come Down

August 8 – September 15, 2019


Scenes from folklore, science fiction and metaphysics are the visual anchors in Kyle Breitenbach’s third solo-exhibition with SHRINE, When the Leaves Come Down. The collective iconography presented furthers Breitenbach’s continued explorations of a world in psychological and physiological flux. This latest body of work’s material nature evokes the impossibility of holding or possessing the world through representation.

Using an alchemical technique, paintings slowly evolve through chemical transformations and exhibit dramatic visual shifts as they dry. Images that begin as graphic depictions of enigmatic scenes are completely painted out and then reemerge over time as a ghostly-likeness, slowly burning through their covering and becoming more altered as time elapses. This slow action of transformation is beyond Breitenbach’s control and allows the paintings to act of their own accord. The resulting surfaces are iridescent with metallic ochre hues, deep greens and purple tones that shift depending on the vantage. The imagery encased in this slow-acting material alludes to the allegorical histories of oil and gold.

In a new series of drawings, Kyle Breitenbach (b. 1992, Sleepy Hollow, NY) uses combustion in order to mimic another form of transformation. Burned cavities in paper become doorways through which new symbols and spaces appear. This simultaneously destructive and generative process points to the ever present struggle to see all of what is in front of us. 

When the Leaves Come Down suggests that representation is an active and ever-changing principle and there is a damaging potential in letting our perceptions fall behind the pace of nature.