Beauty, violence, sexuality and death, religion, the subconscious and the uncanny are all startlingly present in Cris Brodahl’s work. Although seemingly predominantly executed in monochromatic shades of sepia, grey, or black and white, a close reading of Brodahl’s paintings reveals a complex palette of subtly nuanced colours. Her paintings can also contain collaged elements, such as gold leaf; others feature incisions. Brodahl assembles images related to art, photography and history, cuttings from interior design or fashion magazines, film stills and, increasingly, photographs that she has taken herself. She then uses these to create her own distinct form of a surreal, contemporary world. Fragmented body parts merge together in enigmatic settings (or compositions) that, as in the Surrealist game of cadavre exquis (‘exquisite corpse’), allow free associations to unravel.
Cris Brodahl (b. 1963) lives and works in Ghent, Belgium. She was accorded a solo exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum in 2010 and her work has been exhibited in numerous group shows including Inner Journeys, Maison Particulière, Brussels (2013); The Biennial of Painting: The Image of Man at the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle (2012) and Secret Societies at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2011).