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Exhibition: Archetype-Hidden Memory — Paintings by Lex Braes

February 11, 2019

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 12:00 am, repeating until April 7, 2019

copyright © Lex Braes

CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing) presents “Archetype-Hidden Memory,” an exhibition of small paintings and works on paper by Lex Braes. This is the second solo exhibition by Braes at CRS, the first having taken place in 2012. These works result from Braes’ practice of painting a handful of images over and over, transforming them into abstract patterns that nevertheless express the energy and emotion of the original images and suggest some hidden language and connection between the works. The exhibition will open on February 11, 2019 and will remain on view through April 14.

All works Courtesy of the Artist, and Galerie Felix Ringel, Düsseldorf. This exhibition was organized by CRS staff member Takeshi Inoue.


Scottish painter Lex Braes starts with a thought and an image, and then reduces that image to a structure of a few lines, maybe five lines or a single endless line, like a Celtic knot. With handmade paint on plaster, linen and here on paper, he mines a motif that he first found in 2009, using organic geometry to discover shapes, creating rhomboids, parallelograms, and abstract forms that suggest and reminisce about ancient memories. Some of Braes’s forms recall the keening, wailing figure of a man on a Greek krater, seen on a trip to Athens. Others are derived from memories of a reclining female figure. These are indelible memories that sometimes become the joined lines that form two shapes, an abstract form, or uplifted arms signaling mourning.

A series of forms on paper, incremental grey lines lean slightly, more ample or less close, to create a rhythm, with one smaller form set slightly apart. Another sheet of paper is loaded with forms, erased by waves of additional colors, and layered paint. While it appears now to be just a warm grey, a solid wall of color, the intimate painting on paper has some extra moisture, with traces of liquid running down the sheet, like cleansing rain that is seen through a dirty window. A third painting on paper, reveals a layered technique where the remaining stroke is a single gesture, an O form.

Poignantly marked with ground earth pigments mixed with polymers on prepared paper, his images are reminders of a fleeting impression as it crosses the painter’s mind. Perhaps that happens once or maybe a hundred times in a day, and probably too many times in an hour. The thoughts are punctuated with a change of material or surface. His reductive paintings are layered and built up surfaces, mixing in the ad hoc elements of rain water, or moldy earth as a new color, connecting to primal and essential nature with constant reconfiguration, to end up with the most fragile simplicity. Strong statements, given in bare minimal colors that remind of earth, first strokes like cave paintings, blue water and sky. Using a language only known to him, yet universal, Braes draws upon the essential wildness of his native Scotland, filled with the ancient civilizing and peaceful grounding of Pictish stones, runic inscriptions and pictograms that channel ancient and universal human emotions.

The painter’s daily movement travels between small oil sketches on paper to rounded sculpted forms, connected to remnants of wood, or paintings on linen. New drawings of graphite marks emerge from beneath layers and layers of an empty space, formed by painting around reserved places on the paper, allowing viewers to peek at an original space of emptiness. Braes captures an essential quality undetected in our daily frenetic lives. He bridges living memory of enduring spirit with a connection from the past.

— Lisa A. Banner


University of California, San Diego, CA. Allan Kaprow MFA advisor 1983-84 Brooklyn Museum Art School (graduate study) Brooklyn NY 1979-80. Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art Design, University of Dundee Scotland 1974-79. BA, MFA

Pratt Institute, Brooklyn NY, UGArch Visiting Associate Professor Fall 2003 to present Pratt Institute, Graduate Interior Design, Visiting Associate Professor Fall 2017 to present The New York Studio School, NY Faculty member 1999 – 2001

Full Circle, performance, dance Annie Wang music Pauline Oliveros Show Room Gowanus 2014
Collaboration Kinetic Movement: Drawing/Dance with Kayoko Nakajima 2012 Eve Best, Shakespeare Sessions in NY stage painting live performance 2010 Re-doing Allan Kaprow 18 happenings in 6 parts, participation alongside Coryl Crane-Kaprow Deitch Studios LIC NY PERFORMA07 Nov 2007
Modern Man by Roger Kirby, set projection New End Theatre Hampstead London July 2003

NYU the Institute of Fine Arts “GHOST” Curated by Lisa A Banner Oct 15 2018 – Jan 15 2019
Melville House Gallery “A Dozen by Lex Braes” Jan 7 – Feb 13 2015
Salon Meir, “Angels” Munich Germany Oct 15 – Nov 30 2013
Show Room, New York “Routine” January 15 – February 26 2012
Felix Ringel Galerie, Düsseldorf, Germany “holding pattern” July 8 – Aug 7 2010
Galerie Der Moderne Münich Germany March 12 – April 17 2010
Michael Langen Feldafing Germany “Punctuated Equilibrium” Oct 19 2002 – Jan 12 2003
Felix Ringel Galerie Düsseldorf “Punctuated Equilibrium” Jun 21 – Jul 27 2002 Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art New York “suspension” Oct 16– Dec 1 2001 Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art NY “Clearing” Nov 16 1999 – Jan 8 2000 Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art New York “Still” Jan. 13- Feb. 14 1998
Kunstkiosk Zurich Switzerland “New Works” Nov. 2 – Dec. 6, 1996

Hammond Museum with Kit White in North Salem, NY May 8 – June 15, 2019
Felix Ringel Galerie “gallery artists – work on paper” Spring 2017 CloudGallery“ArtforRefugees”A msterdamNLFeb12–Feb232016 Sideshow Williamsburg “Life on Mars” Jan Feb 2016
Flowers NY Small is Beautiful Dec 2015 Jan 2016
Show Room Gowanus farewell exhibition January 2015
Flowers London “Small is Beautiful” Dec 3 2013 – Jan 5 2014
Felix Ringel Galerie, Düsseldorf, gallery artists, Winter 2013, Spring 2014 Show Room New York “Summer Ceylon” July 17 – July 28 2013
Loving is Repeating Artist collaboration book International Print Center of NY􏰀 Masque Libros II Feria Internacional Libro de Artista de Madrid Spain 2013 Triangle Workshop Dumbo NY collaboration: with Salwa Aleryani 29 Sep 2012 National Academy Museum NY “Annual 2012” January 24 – April 29 2012 Felix Ringel Galerie Düsseldorf Germany Spring 2011
Flowers NY, gallery artists July – Aug 2010
Galerie Der Moderne, Münich, Germany winter 2009
Flowers NY small works Dec 2007, 2009
Schafler Gallery, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn “Crossing Disciplines Drawing” faculty selection Feb 15 – April 15 2005

Marble House Projects, residency Dorset VT June 2014
Vermont Studio Center, visiting artist/teacher January 2013
Villa Waldberta, stipendium, International Residency Münich May June 2008 YADDO artist residency 2007 March 2019
Triangle Artists Workshop 30th Anniversary Invitational 2012
Glasgow Educational Trust Award to study Degas drawings: Fogg Museum Harvard Sep 1978

Mnemosyne Atlas Freya Powell collective social memory 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018
Pratt Journal of Architecture Re: Making Full Circle with Annie Wang publication 2016
Loving is Repeating artist book collaboration with Freya Powell Nov 2013
Hyperallergic Sarah Walko Collaboration Across Borders in Artist Workshops Jan 22 2013
Lex Braes works 1986 – 2009 monograph published by Michael Langen, Roland Angst design Berlin 2010
Karen Wilkin: catalogue essay “recent work” Nov 2009
Thomas Kuhn: catalogue essay “holding pattern” Dec 2009
Natasha Prevost: “Lex Braes’ red line” Inflexions Issue 2 Jan 2009 (Journal of Philosophy) Montreal Canada
Alison Leigh Defrees: “Art in the Balance” Profile Janera 2008
Angela Bachmair: “Mysterious Traces” Augsburger Allgemeine Jan10 2004 Karen Wilkin: “At the Galleries” in Partisan Review Winter 2002 Winter 2000 Ken Johnson “suspension” Fine Arts & Leisure, review New York Times Nov 16, 2001
Donald Kuspit: “Clearing” essay for Exhibition Catalogue November 1999 – Jan 2000
Kit White: “Lex Braes at Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art” Review, Dec 15, 1999
Roland Legiardi-Laura “Lex Braes at Rosenberg + Kaufman” BOMB Spring 1998
Eileen Daspin: “Trends” Wall Street Journal, March 6, 1998
Mark Staff Brandl: Zurich “Lex Braes at Kunstkiosk”, in Art in America, Jan 1997
Sue Scott: “Invitational” Elizabeth Harris Gallery” in ARTnews Jan 1994
Janet Koplos: “Lex Braes at Stephen Rosenberg” in Art in America July 1992


February 11, 2019
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