Sascha Braunig Lay Figure
2 October – 30 December 2022

Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens & Centennial Square


Sascha Braunig's paintings and drawings are exercises in colour, form, and illusion. Citing an artistic lineage that stretches from the Pictures Generation through to the Chicago Imagists and horror-movie practical effects, her sometimes barbed, tubular, netted, or neon-lit forms speak of many of the tensions of the current moment, such as being a subject within the grid of digital or gender systems.

In this exhibition, which stretches over both Oakville Galleries sites, the Canada-born, US-based artist brings together new and recent works that are based on the compositional motif of figures engaged in conflict with a dress-like structure. These works use material qualities to analogize an immaterial idea: the feeling of struggling with a system more powerful than you, in which you are also deeply entangled.

Braunig builds and uses three-dimensional models as visual aids in the making of her work, some of which are included in the exhibition. Because of this observational painting practice, she sees her work as being linked to the academic nineteenth-century painter's use of the “lay figure," a jointed doll, not quite to-scale, that artists used as a stand-in for a live model in the studio. The exhibition's title, Lay Figure, refers to this historical practice, but Braunig extends its meaning to the schematic wiry figure that recurs in her recent work. Here she imagines the lay figure coming into a life of its own, squirming to free itself from rigid systems and resisting its status as the inanimate muse in patriarchal painting's history.


Sascha Braunig. Untitled Study, 2020. oil on Arches oil paper, 11.25 x 15 inches. Courtesy the artist.