Yossi Milo Gallery presents Facades III, Markus Brunetti’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition presents new photographic works from Brunetti’s ongoing series Facades.
Markus Brunetti’s (b. 1965; Germany) most recent work continues his singular mission to document Europe’s historic cathedrals, churches, monasteries, and synagogues in immaculate detail. With his partner, Betty Schoener, Brunetti travels the continent in a converted firetruck-turned-photo lab. Together, the two live and work on the road, returning to their subjects repeatedly over a period of several years and taking thousands of photographs of each structure. Brunetti then edits, layers, and arranges each frame to create a composite image that eschews the illusory effects of spatial perspective and provides an otherwise impossible, perfect view of the building’s façade.
Brunetti’s practice is often likened to Bernd and Hilla Becher’s serial documentation of German industrialization, yet the artist himself aligns his methods more closely with the tradition of Old Master painting. Like the masters of the Renaissance, the artist offers interpretations of his monumental subjects, not simply by photographing them, but by crafting a view of each structure according to his conceptual understanding of its architecture. Brunetti’s images thus offer their own Bildsprache, or visual language, that translates the presence of each building in three-dimensional space into an idealized, two-dimensional image that showcases the finest details of every square- meter of the façade. In this way, the artist preserves the cultural heritage these structures embody, immortalizing them in his impeccable renderings.
The unique embellishments and stylistic features of Brunetti’s subjects take on new meaning when works from the series are placed in conversation. Facades III presents images of sacred buildings from similar time periods and architectural movements, yet which differ vastly in their design, material, and construction. Included in the show is Cambridge, King’s College Chapel (2014 – 2023), whose construction began in 1446 and was completed in 1515 in England. The church is an exemplar of Perpendicular Gothic architecture, with its clean vertical lines, large windows, and regular geometric embellishments. Likewise built in the latter half of the 15th century, the church depicted in Venezia, Santa Maria dei Miracoli (2006 – 2023) contrasts with King’s College Chapel in its luscious, colored marble façade, curved arches, and small rounded windows. The variations in local resources, politics, and culture had immense impact on the construction of buildings that were erected much for the same purpose: as holy sites and testaments to the far reaches of human achievement and artistic philosophy. Brunetti devotes his painstaking process to creating works of art whose detail, effort, and devotion match that of the structures themselves.
Since this project began in 2005, Markus Brunetti and Betty Schoener have spent nearly two decades travelling Europe and working ceaselessly to create their sublime renderings of some of humankind’s most remarkable achievements. From Lincoln, The Cathedral Church of St. Mary (2006 – 2023) in England, to Lucca, San Michele In Foro (2012 – 2023) in Italy, to Cordoba, Mezquita-Catedral (2013 – 2023) in Spain, the historic sites Brunetti captures have stood the test of time as the world around them changed over the course of centuries, and are testament to humankind’s artistry on a monumental scale. The artist’s own rigorous and passionate practice translates these accomplishments into modern images, preserving the work of architects and laborers of centuries past, and offering evidence of their glory to contemporary audiences the world over.
Markus Brunetti’s Facades have been featured in prominent group exhibitions, including PROPORTIO at Palazzo Fortuny, which coincided with the 57th Venice Biennale in Italy, and the 2015 Les Rencontres d’Arles Photographie Festival in France. The artist has presented solo exhibitions at the Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, WI; Museum of Fine Arts, Le Locle, Switzerland; Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Hong Kong, China, among others. Brunetti’s work is held in the permanent collections of the Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Le Locle, Switzerland; and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, among others. Brunetti and his partner Betty Schoener live and work across Europe, always furthering the Facades series.
Markus Brunetti : Facades III
March 16 – May 6, 2023
Yossi Milo Gallery
245 10th Ave
New York, NY 10001