Jan Brugger received her Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art and a Certificate in Dance from the University of Wisconsin. Her work has been shown in exhibitions throughout Madison, Chicago, and San Francisco. She currently lives and works on the hillside of Bernal Heights in San Francisco.
I use unexpected materials and improvisational techniques to create formal abstractions concerned with color, composition, form and texture. I choose found, discarded objects based solely on these aesthetic elements rather than their previous identity. I believe that when an object is stripped of its function, the form develops a unique visual vocabulary from its inherent physical properties. My work explores and pushes the dialogue between materials, the exhibition space, and the viewer.
I create highly tactile, multidimensional and visceral forms that elicit a somatic response - an urge to touch, taste, manipulate or otherwise interact with a work. In this way, pieces can appear humorous or absurd while at the same time exuding dark, entropic, or perverse qualities. These characteristics are underscored by the salvaged materials and any preserved remnants of their previous identities. These associations become familiar access points in the work where narrative or emotion may be inserted.
Behind these playful abstractions, I question habitual modes of perception, preconceived notions of value, and the glut of contemporary consumer culture. I use discarded materials in response to the over-sized wealth gap and capitalist-driven cycles of waste and obsolescence. I am interested in how transforming and elevating humble matter to an artistic medium can relate to both the traditions of abstract painting and the hierarchy-challenging readymade. My hope is that the tension between anti-heroic and "high art" directs awareness towards the insignificant and overlooked, challenging the viewer to look again and reconsider our hierarchies and expectations.
Awards & Recognitions
- VCU Sculpture Summer Studio Program Scholarship