At Metro Pictures, Swiss-born, New York-based artist Olaf Breuning strikes a less characteristically playful note with new work that aims to draw our attention to the ever-worsening environmental crisis. Paintings made using woodblocks portray peaceful scenes from nature but also threatening rain drops—calling to mind the chaos of climate change. Also on view are stone sculptures, from a series called “Sad and Worried Animals,” that depict various birds and mammals with cartoonishly large, sad eyes. Breuning seems to be imploring us not to look away.
Olaf Breuning, Sad and worried animals / Owl, 2020. American black stone, ceramic eyes, 31 1/2 x 13 13/16 x 13 13/16 inches (sculpture); 24 x 18 x 19 inches (pedestal). Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.