"How do you visualize capitalism? The late German artist spent the majority of his career investigating ways to present political agendas and socialist beliefs through drawings, prints, paintings, films, objects and publications. This exhibition, a collaboration with his estate, presents works from the Capitalist Realism period as well as his use of graphics and printmaking to tackle the exploitation of art as a commodity." - TIMEOUT LONDON
"Brehmer deploys the tools of bureaucracy—maps, graphs, indexes—in order to survey the effects of capitalism on everyday life. In the enlarged chart, Seele und Gefühl eines Arbeiters (Soul and Feelings of a Worker), 1975, an undulating grid registers the day-to-day emotions and drudgery associated with work. Predictably, in Brehmer’s Cold War world, feeling “neutral” or “neutral plus” prevails over “happy” or “hopeful.” - ARTFORUM
BREHMER USES A VARIETY OF STYLES TO PRESENT DATA; ALTHOUGH THE DATA CONCERNS SERIOUS ISSUES, SUCH AS CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM, THE AESTHETICS ARE ALMOST PLAYFUL THROUGH THE USE OF BRIGHT COLOURS AND BOLD LINES.
THE GRAPH -LIKE FORMAT USED BY BREHMER IS AN INTERESTING METHOD OF PRESENTING THE INFORMATION BECAUSE GRAPHS ARE FORMAL MEANS OF PRESENTATION, THEREFORE CREATING A RECOGNISABLE AESTHETIC WITH THE AUDIENCE THAT IS SOMEHOW TRANSFORMED THROUGH THE MANIPULATION OF COLOUR, SCALE AND SHAPE.
THE USE OF CASUAL MATERIALS, SUCH AS GRAPH PAPER AND PENCILS FURTHER IMPLIES A TRADITIONAL REPRESENTATION OF DATA, ALMOST CARELESS AS THE HALF-RUBBED-OUT PENCIL LINES SHOW IN THE BACKGROUND OF THE PAGE. HOWEVER, THIS CONTRASTS WITH THE PURPOSEFUL USE OF TEXT AND OFTEN NEATLY FRAMED FINISHING.
BREHMER IS ABLE TO CREATE STRAIGHT FORWARD DATA IN A SIMPLE WAY, ALMOST MAKING THE DATA INTO A ART FORM IN ITS OWN RIGHT. DOES THIS MEET BREHMERS INTENTION? DOES THE BEAUTIFUL PRESENTATION DISTRACT FROM THE INFORMATION IT'S MADE FROM - IS THIS INTENTIONAL?