Artists' Television Access

Michelle Brandemuehl: Nothing Left to Break

August 1, 2019 - August 31, 2015

My work is less about recording what I see around me and more about exploring what I cannot see. I make art to articulate through the visual what we struggle to articulate through language; to reflect what lies beneath the rational mind.

The series I created titled Nothing Left to Break, is based on the theme of impermanence. The idea is that everything is already broken from the start, and that there is freedom in letting go and accepting it as it is, broken. Through work like this, I am exploring the ways in which we connect to this freedom. I often use gravity as a theme, thinking about how gravity grounds us in the physical realm, but wondering what grounds us metaphysically. I believe the external noise of modern culture disconnects us from our internal quiet which in turn distracts us from exploring these questions. My hope is to create work that allows the viewer to tap into this quiet.

My process of creating art reflects this. Choosing a wood panel with lines and imperfections that speak to me, creating order by limiting
color and shape, and attempting to manipulate gravity compositionally in a way that feels rhythmic and melodic. I am drawn to transparency in the paint and materials because of its ability to reveal what is underneath, mirroring themes I am exploring. Through this process of limiting color and opaqueness, I am allowing the empty to take importance; defining through absence rather than presence – permitting the quiet to be heard.


Michelle Brandemuehl is a San Francisco based artist. She grew up in Wisconsin where she received her B.A. from University of
Wisconsin-Madison. After working as a graphic designer for fifteen years, in 2013 she changed her focus to pursue art on a more full time basis; directing her time and energy towards a rigorous studio practice.

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