Troy Brauntuch

Early Work

November 4, 2015 - January 9, 2016

Opening Reception: Wednesday, November 4th, 6-8pm

35 E 67th Street

Petzel gallery is pleased to present Early Work, a solo exhibition by Troy Brauntuch on view from November 4, 2015 until January 9, 2016 at the gallery's uptown location, 35 E 67th Street.

Over the course of his four-decade long practice, Brauntuch has appropriated obscure images from a breadth of sources, and rendered works in the dark, alluring medium of pigment on black cotton or black paper. Crucial to this body of work is drawing, and Brauntuch commits his compositions with skillful subtlety using white pastel and other mediums to create ghost-like, obfuscating traces. Early Work uncovers the beginnings of this seductive and poetic approach, showcasing the artist’s meticulous use of materials and intuitive compositional attention to reveal a unique perspective on the process and style in Brauntuch's oeuvre.

Early Work marks the first time these large works, created between 1976 and 1983, have been exhibited together. Each work, selected by the artist and borrowed from both private and public collections, demonstrates Brauntuch’s long-standing practice of exploring the re-presentation of images and documentation: In the case of Early Work, the sources were produced in Germany under the Third Reich.

Indeed, one of the most captivating works in the exhibition—a photographic triptych, Untitled (Rally) (1980)—consists of three eight-foot panels each depicting a man’s head hovering on a purple background: The repetition of this portrait, and the triptych’s U-shape installation (calling to mind an altarpiece) can be read as both dreamlike and ominous. This subject matter resurfaces in White Head (1981), a white pencil drawing depicting the studio of Joseph Thorak, one of the official sculptors of the Third Reich. This work is part of a larger suite of drawings Brauntuch produced in 1981.

The accompanying exhibition catalog makes these connections perspicuous: Original source documentation taken, for example, from drawings produced by prisoners at Dachau concentration camp, is shown alongside the artist’s piece in which it is appropriated. View the catalog here.

Troy Brauntuch was born in 1954 in Jersey City, NJ. He received a BFA from the California Institute of Arts and currently lives and works in Austin, TX where he teaches. Brauntuch has received numerous distinguished awards among them the National Endowment for the Arts, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant and most recently the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2010. Brauntuch’s work is in many prominent public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. His work has been exhibited widely in numerous exhibitions including the Whitney Biennial, New York (2006); "The Pictures Generation," The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2009) and The Illusion of Light, Palazzo Grassi/Francois Pinault Foundation, Venice (2014).

Petzel Gallery is located at 456 West 18th Street New York, NY 10011 and 35 East 67th Street New York, NY 10065. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.
For press inquiries, please contact Janine Latham at janine@petzel.com, or call (212) 680-9467.


Download Press Release (PDF 93 K)


  • 1 / 25
    Untitled (Rally)
    1980
    C-prints
    Triptych, 84 x 136 inches (overall)
  • 2 / 25
    Untitled (Officers)
    1982
    Pencil on cotton
    Diptych, 96 x 72 inches (overall)
  • 3 / 25
    Untitled (Fire)
    1982
    Pencil on cotton
    Diptych, 96 x 72 inches
  • 4 / 25
    Untitled (White Head)
    1981
    Pencil on paper
    84 x 31 inches
  • 5 / 25
    Untitled (Violin Player)
    1983
    Conte on cotton
    Diptych, 72 x 48 inches
  • 6 / 25
    White Statue
    1976
    Lithograph and silkscreen on paper
    47 x 35 inches
  • 7 / 25
    Untitled (Head)
    1978
    C-print
    12 x 11 inches
  • 8 / 25
    Untitled
    1980
    Photographic process on paper and articulated photograph
    Four parts, 84 x 132 inches (overall)
  • 9 / 25
    Untitled
    1980
    Photographic process on paper and articulated photograph
    Four parts, 84 x 132 inches (overall)
  • 10 / 25
    Three Effects
    1977
    Rubber-stamped ink on paper
    Diptych, 11 x 27 inches (overall)
  • 11 / 25
    Untitled (Woods)
    1983
    Conte on cotton
    36 x 108 inches
  • 12 / 25
    Boy's Head
    1979
    C-print
    7.125 x 7.5 inches
  • 13 / 25
    Untitled
    1981
    Pencil on paper
    46 x 32 inches
  • 14 / 25
    Troy Brauntuch
    Early Work
    Installation view 1
    2015
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    Troy Brauntuch
    Early Work
    Installation view 2
    2015
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    Troy Brauntuch
    Early Work
    Installation view 3
    2015
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    Troy Brauntuch
    Early Work
    Installation view 4
    2015
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    Troy Brauntuch
    Early Work
    Installation view 5
    2015
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    Troy Brauntuch
    Early Work
    Installation view 6
    2015
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    Troy Brauntuch
    Early Work
    Installation view 7
    2015
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    Troy Brauntuch
    Early Work
    Installation view 8
    2015
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    Troy Brauntuch
    Early Work
    Installation view 9
    2015
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    Troy Brauntuch
    Early Work
    Installation view 10
    2015
  • 24 / 25
    Troy Brauntuch
    Early Work
    Installation view 11
    2015
  • 25 / 25
    Troy Brauntuch
    Early Work
    Installation view 12
    2015
Related Materials

Troy Brauntuch

Early Work

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Published on the occasion of the exhibition Troy Brauntuch: Early Work, at Petzel Gallery, 35 E 67th Street, New York, November 4, 2015 - January 9, 2016

Published by Petzel, New York

© 2015 Petzel and Troy Brauntuch

ISBN 978-0-9863230-5-8

Troy Brauntuch

Troy Brauntuch

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This catalogue presents an overview of Troy Brauntuch's comprehensive production of works from 1978 to the present

The catalogue contains the following essays:

"Troy Brauntuch: The Early Work in Context" by Douglas Eklund
"Familiars: On the Work of Troy Brauntuch" by Johanna Burton

Published by JRP|Ringier

© 2010, Troy Brauntuch, the authors, the photographers and JRP|Ringier Kunstverlag AG

ISBN: 978-3-9057700-81-0

Troy Brauntuch

Mary Boone Michael Werner 1985

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This catalogue was published on the occasion of the exhibition Troy Brauntuch, at Mary Boone and Michael Werner Gallery, 417 West Broadway, February 2 - February 23, 1985

This catalogue features the essay
"The Noun Effaced; Finish and the Unfinished Phrase" by Douglas Blau

Published by Mary Boone Michael Werner Gallery

© 1985 Mary Boone and Michael Werner

ASIN: B000ORD2QS