Peter Bruun is at heart a figurative artist. From the late 1980’s through 2015, all of his abstract works (presented in a square format) had been based on self-portraiture: the works literally begin with mark-making from observing his face in the mirror, and then constellating those marks not to render faces, but rather an infinite variety of abstract, rounded forms. A figure against a ground. In 2016, in a radical shift in methodology, Bruun began making works based on figures in relationship, and he broke away from a square format. This has opened an entirely new vein for abstract exploration; more about relationship than identity.

Each work is $300 + $25 shipping and handling. Mr. Bruun is generously donating 2/3 of the proceeds to the piano series. See bottom for purchasing.

Untitled 10 [SOLD]
Untitled 10 [SOLD]

Self-portrait 22” x 22” 1999 This watercolor is an additive approach: rather than erasing many marks made initially (marks from looking in the mirror), I pile on more marks. The swatches of watercolor begin as marks in response to what I see in the mirror (a green shadow under my eyebrow; a wedge of dark brown hair by my ear; a blue cast shadow from my hairline), but then the drawing takes on a life of its own. The colors dance with and against each other, with crystalline light and form."

Untitled 3: Pastel, charcoal
Untitled 3: Pastel, charcoal

Self-portrait 14" x 14" 1997 For 'Untitled 1-5': "Exploring the relationship between line and color. I was giving shape to identities of diverse character (or aura), based on varying decisions I made with color, line, and shape, but staying within a basic parameter of blocks of pastel color edged with lines. I loved how the pastel powder collected on these drawings like a patina, especially along the bottoms. They become living, evolving things."

Untitled 4: Pastel, charcoal
Untitled 4: Pastel, charcoal

Self-portrait 14" x 14" 1997 For 'Untitled 1-5': "Exploring the relationship between line and color. I was giving shape to identities of diverse character (or aura), based on varying decisions I made with color, line, and shape, but staying within a basic parameter of blocks of pastel color edged with lines. I loved how the pastel powder collected on these drawings like a patina, especially along the bottoms. They become living, evolving things."

Untitled 5 [SOLD]
Untitled 5 [SOLD]

Self-portrait 14" x 14" 1997 For 'Untitled 1-5': "Exploring the relationship between line and color. I was giving shape to identities of diverse character (or aura), based on varying decisions I made with color, line, and shape, but staying within a basic parameter of blocks of pastel color edged with lines. I loved how the pastel powder collected on these drawings like a patina, especially along the bottoms. They become living, evolving things."

Untitled 1: Pastel, charcoal
Untitled 1: Pastel, charcoal

Self-portrait 14" x 14" 1997 For 'Untitled 1-5': "Exploring the relationship between line and color. I was giving shape to identities of diverse character (or aura), based on varying decisions I made with color, line, and shape, but staying within a basic parameter of blocks of pastel color edged with lines. I loved how the pastel powder collected on these drawings like a patina, especially along the bottoms. They become living, evolving things."

Dawnya: Pencil, gesso, watercolor
Dawnya: Pencil, gesso, watercolor

Self-portrait 14" x 11" 2016 “One of several pieces inspired by what I feel are surprising, difficult, and beautiful love stories. Two figures intertwine, it being left unclear who is holding whom, as perhaps they each hold and are held by the other. The quotations are excerpts from a poem from one person in the love story to the other.”

Untitled 2: Pastel charcoal
Untitled 2: Pastel charcoal

Self-portrait 14" x 14" 1997 For 'Untitled 1-5': "Exploring the relationship between line and color. I was giving shape to identities of diverse character (or aura), based on varying decisions I made with color, line, and shape, but staying within a basic parameter of blocks of pastel color edged with lines. I loved how the pastel powder collected on these drawings like a patina, especially along the bottoms. They become living, evolving things."

Big Love [SOLD]
Big Love [SOLD]

Self-portrait, charcoal, gesso, watercolor 17" x 14" 2016 “When working on drawings in Maine this fall, I found myself reaching for fitting words that either inspired or simply went with my drawings. Some of the words are my own, some from other writers. In making this drawing, I was aware of so much love, so naturally turn to the words of Walt Whitman for inclusion.”

Crying Big Green Tears
Crying Big Green Tears

Self-portait Charcoal, gesso, watercolor 17" x 14" 2016 “This drawing was made when I felt lonely after a visiting dear friend in Maine left.”

Untitled 9: Pastel
Untitled 9: Pastel

Self-portrait 22" x 22" 1998 “Double images were an area of exploration for me: is this two forms, one against the other, or a single form of two colors? What is the dance of relationship? Little guides the outcome of my work—the work’s formal direction and resolution—so much as intuition and feeling; arriving when I know I’ve arrived, when the drawing is not asking for any changes to be made. When the work feels as it’s meant to be, fully born."

First Fracture (Sisters)
First Fracture (Sisters)

Self-portrait, charcoal, gesso, 18" x 11", 2016 “Part of the evening of music, art, food and love, this drawing is inspired by a story between sisters, who had an inexplicable falling-out, and yet upon randomly bumping into each other at a store one day, returned to their formerly loving sisterly relationship. Until this evening (in which the one sister shared her story with the audience, including her sister as her guest), they had never before spoken of the fracture. It was healing."

Buddha Love [SOLD]
Buddha Love [SOLD]

Self-portrait, pencil, ink, watercolor, gesso 16" x 12" 2016 "This drawing is about a couple who fell in love at a Buddhist monastery where they lived; their love story led them to be expelled from the monastery (where they had lived for year), and they now have been married for 26 years. The quotation accompanying this drawing: 'I tried to quiet my mind, but I could not still my heart.'"

A Thousand Tears, watercolor & gesso
A Thousand Tears, watercolor & gesso

Self-portrait 14” x 11” 2016 "With 2016, I became more interested in relationship than identity. I began making marks aimed at figuration; specifically, figures in relationship. This drawing is one of a series created over a three-week period while in Maine in the fall, where I specifically focused on abstract figuration, thinking about relationship, love, and loss.”

Untitled 7: gouache, charcoal
Untitled 7: gouache, charcoal

Self-portrait 13" x 13" 2004 See 'Untitled 8' description.

Untitled 8: goauche, charcoal
Untitled 8: goauche, charcoal

Self-portrait 13" x 13" 2004 "In summer 2003, my step-father, age 62, died of a massive heart attack. He had seemed in the peak of health: full of life, the sun our familial planets orbited round. Perhaps naturally, his passing had my head turn toward the notion of vulnerability… to flaws to our seemingly perfectly healthy physical selves… to the inevitability of change with time—impermanence and atrophy. Along with Untitled 7, this uneven work gives way to vulnerabilities."

Untitled 6: Pastel, gouache, pencil
Untitled 6: Pastel, gouache, pencil

Self-portrait 15” x 15” 2002 "In the early 2000s, my abstracted heads had distilled themselves to the point of becoming simple, fully rounded forms, each with its own idiosyncratic resolution (not perfectly round, a product of the process)."

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