Kristina Bræin (1955, Oslo) studied music, art history and architecture before she finally graduated in art and graphic design at the national academy in Oslo in 1997. Ever since, she has been working on a recognizable oeuvre of improvised interventions that finds its root in the formal imagery of modernism and minimalism giving, at the same time, a new interpretation of it.
In her subtle installations realized with daily materials and objects, the artist starts a dialogue with the given space. Making use of materials like tape, carpet and objects that come directly from a domestic environment, she arranges modest compositions. Because of that, her sculptural ordering melts to a certain extent with the exhibition space and makes other elements of the space visible: aspects that were always a part of it but that without her intervention would have remained unnoticed. It is a situation of taking and giving, in which the artist reveals the qualities of the space rather than assigning a defined statement of the space in advance.
Even though her compositions are always simple, even minimal, Bræin displaces the beauty and impersonal vocabulary of the minimalism with the coincidences of daily life. In that way, they create clever comments on modernism, both its form and ideology. With such an installation, Bræin shows in a playful way how it is possible to apply old sculptural and architectural conventions without being loyal to them. She creates space for a new perspective.
Kristina Bræin about her own work: For me a room is never empty. In its bare form is already full of elements and possible connections, and an atmosphere to be aware of. In my work I wish to reveal these potential connections as much as create new pieces of art.
My mentality is not to compete with the space; I rather want to make a kind of dialogue with it. In my process I start out with some materials, often from my immediate surroundings. It could be objects from everyday life, leftovers, in general anything that catches my eye could be a potential part of my work. Then to remove all that is not absolutely necessary is a way for me to sharpen my mind , and also sharpen the dialogue with the space. I insist on modesty and softness to be powerful. Still precision is of great importance. Extreme openness must be balanced by precise actions.