Olaf Breuning

Born in 1970 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland
Lives and works in New York, USA

Olaf Breuning studied photography at the Zuercher Hochschule der Kuenste and Winterthur (Switzerland). Breuning’s artworks, in whichever of the plethora of media it emerges in, deals with the “big questions in life” through a language that merges mass-culture and art manifesting a body of ephemeral works made permanent via artistic documentation constituting of humorous art without ridiculing art. Breuning has had over 320 exhibitions worldwide, his works are exhibited in the most important galleries and art fairs worldwide, and has many public installations and permanent public sculptures in various locations in North America and Europe, proving a fixture in the contemporary arts and culture.


1988-1993, Photography, Winterthur, Switzerland
1993-1996, Photography, Zuercher Hochschule der Kuenste, Zürich

Solo Exhibitions (selected)

“CASS Presents: Olaf Breuning”, CASS Sculpture Foundation, West Sussex
“Walking on Love”, Kodama Gallery, Tokyo
“Retrospective”, Down Stairs Project, New York
“Pig School”, Metro Pictures, New York
“Quiet Afternoon”, Galerie Nicola von Senger, Zurich
“Retrospective”, NRW-Forum, Duesseldorf
Cold Animals, Nils Stærk, Copenhagen
“The Good Old Evolution”, Carbon 12, Dubai
“The Madness That We Call Reality”, NRW-Forum, Dusseldorf
“The Life”, Metro Pictures, New York
“Home 1-3”, Kunsthall Stavanger, Stavanger
Michael Benevento, Los Angeles
“Do Not”, Art Cube, Artist Studios Jerusalem, Israel
“Groups”, Haifa Museum of Art, Israel
“Clouds”, Public Art Funds, New York
“Home 3 Screening”, The Modern Institute Oxford, Oxford, UK
“Home 1/2/3”, Metro Pictures, New York
“Home 3 Screening”, ICA London, London
“Home 3”, IMA Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane
“The Grid”, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
“Camelops Femina”, Carbon 12, Dubai
“Human Nature/The Box”, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London
IMA Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane
“Art Freaks”, Metro Pictures, New York
“Art Freaks”, Palais de Tokyo, Paris
“Art Freaks”, Kodama Gallery, Kyoto
Nicola von Senger Gallery, Zürich
Art in The Park VI, Baur au Lac Park, Zürich
Contemporary Art Centre, Chapel of Geneteil, France
Nils Staerk Gallery, Denmark
“Yes? No?”, KunstMuseum Luzern, Luzern, Switzerland
“Small Brain, Big Stomach”, Metro Pictures, New York
Michael Benevento, Los Angeles
Kodama Gallery, Kyoto and Tokyo
Langhans Gallery, Prague
Metro Pictures, New York
“OMG”, Conduits Gallery, Milan
Art Projects for Miami Basel, Miami Beach
Galerie Lucy Mackintosh, Lausanne
Galerie Nicola von Senger, Zürich
Migros Museum, Zürich
Bunker Sztuki, Krakow
Kodama Gallery, Tokyo
Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, AU2007 Gertrude, Melbourne
Wolfsberg, Wolfsberg
“Vidéokiosque”, Modern Art Center, Paris
IMA, Brisbane
Window of Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland
Nils Staerk Contemporary Art, Copenhagen
“Home”, Sketch, London
Metro Pictures, New York
Galerie Air de Paris, Paris
Chapter Visual Arts, Cardiff
Chisenhale, London
Filmabend: Home, Kunst-Büro, Lupiod Lounge, Munich
Galerie Meyer & Kainer, Vienna
Nicola von Senger Galerie, Zürich
Kodama Gallery, Osaka
Olaf Breuning, Nils Stærk Contemporary Art, Copenhagen
“Home”, Metro Pictures Gallery, New York
“Project room V”, MAMCS: Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg
MAGASIN-Centre National d’art Contemporain, Grenoble
“Hello Darkness”, ARNDT, Berlin
“Camp”, Kunsthaus CentrePasquArt – Centre d’Art, Biel/Bienne
“Hello Darkness”, SI: Swiss Institute, New York
“Primitiv”, Metro Pictures Gallery, New York
Artspace, Auckland
“Apes”, Kunstverein Freiburg
“King”, ARNDT, Berlin
Olaf Breuning – SI: Swiss Institute, New York
Olaf Breuning – Galerie Meyer Kainer, Vienna

Group Exhibitions (selected)

“NGV Triennial”, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
“Collection on Display – Rituals”, Migros Museum, Zurich
“Electronic Superhighway”, Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT), Lisbon
“Power Mask”, Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam
“Call & Response”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville
5 Years at Heddon Street, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London
“Send in the Clowns”, Nils Stærk, Copenhagen
“Hangar B9”, Biennale De L’Image Possible, Liège
“Ulla! Ulla! Ulla! Ulla! Martians, Aliens, Intergalactics and Humans”, Casa Nova Arte e Cultura Contemporanea, São Paulo
Conversation autour d’une collection, Villa Bernasconi Centre d’art,Grand-Lancy
“This one is smaller than this one”, Postmasters Gallery, New York
“Electronic Superhighway (2016-1966)” Whitechapel Art Gallery, London
“Who is Playing?”, MeetFactory Gallery, Prague
“Vitaminbombe. Früchtebilder Von Picasso Bis Warhol”, Kunsthalle Emden, Germany
“Um die Ecke denken”, Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich
“Station to Station”, Barbican Art Centre, London
“Zurich and Elsewhere”, Carlos/Ishikawa, London
“Welcome to the jungle”, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin
“The Generic Way”, Zabriskie Point, Geneva
“Trial / Error / Art”, Holden Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester
“Don’t Worry”, Kate MacGarry, London
“Who Is Playing?” MeetFactory Gallery, Prague
“Small Detonations”, Carbon 12, Dubai
“Cargo! Zeitgenössische”, Museum Rietberg, Zurich
“Broken. Slapstick, Comedy und schwarzer Humor”, Haus der Kunst, Munich
“Drømmeland”, KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg
“Social Photography IV”, The Emily Harvey Foundation, New York
“Marie Voignier / Olaf Breuning / Christoph Keller”, Caixa Cultural São Paulo, São Paulo
“Broken. Slapstick, Comedy und schwarzer Humor”, Haus der Kunst München, Munich
“Protect me from what I am”, Galerie Dina Renninger, Munich
“Choice & Charity Part I”, Katz Contemporary, Zurich
“Olaf Breuning, Tony Matelli, And John Miller”, Gary Tatintsian Gallery Inc., Moscow
“Closer encounters – Summer Accrochage”, Carbon 12, Dubai
“Metamatic Reloaded”, Tinguely Museum, Basel
“Lightness of Being”, Public Art Fund, City Hall Park, New York
“Revealed2: CollectorSpace”, The Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide
“The Cat Show”, White Columns, New York
“La realtà non è un luogo comune Fotografie e video dalla Collezione d’arte della Julius Baer”, Museo Cantonale d´Arte Lugano, Switzerland
“This is not a love song”, La Virreina – Centre de la Imatge, Barcelona
“back and forth”, Stiftung Binz 39, Zurich
“Pataphysics”, Sean Kelly Gallery, New York
“Other People’s Problems: Conflicts and Paradoxes” herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel
“Sweet Home”, Häusler Contemporary, Munich
“Post Tenebras Lux – Eine Uebersichtsausstellung”, Galerie Nicola von Senger, Zurich
“Rejouer / DÉjouer Le Grand: Suisse-quÉbec”, Stadtgalerie im PROGR, Bern
“Family Portrait”, Carriage Trade, New York
“Sport in Art”, MOCAK: Museum of Contemporary Art in Kraków, Krakow
“Itinerary-The Proposition”, New York
Nils Stærk Contemporary Art, Copenhagen
“Parallelwelt Zirkus”, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna
“Out of Focus: Photography”, The Saatchi Gallery, London
“Hidden Stories”, KAI 10 Raum für Kunst , Dusseldorf
“Death can dance”, Townhouse, Zurich
“FG.FT”, Envoy enterprises, New York
“Die dunkle seite des mondes (The dark side of the moon)”, Carbon 12, Dubai
“The Man Who Would Be King”, Patricia Low Contemporary, St.Moritz
“Le Donjon De Vez À L’heure D’ÉtÉ”, Donjon de Vez, France
“Die Dunkle Seite des Mondes” – Carbon 12, Dubai
“In Living Color”, FLAG Art Foundation, New York
“Living on the edge of a silver future”, Galerie 5020, Salzburg, Austria
“Dead Lines”, The Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal
“Cover Up (second version)”, Musuem of Art, Bochum, Germany
“Display/Replay”, Maison de la Culture Frontenac, Montreal
”Display/Replay, Stad Galerie, Bern
“Daft (Idiots)”, Shanghai Gallery of Art, China
“God Only Knows Who the Audience is”, CAA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, USA
“Commercial Break”, 54th Venice Biennale, Venice
“Train Fantome”, Cruise & Callas, Berlin
“Let it End like This”, Apex Art, USA
“Here is a drawing Switzerland”, Aargauer Kunsthaus, Switzerland
“Electromediascope”, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
“Move”, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York
“Hareng Saur: Ensor and Contemporary Art”, SMAK: The Museum of Contemporary Art
SVA, HBC, Berlin
“The Secret (still) Knows”, (LAND) LAB, Los Angeles
“The Battle of Bad Taste”, The Swiss Institute, New York
“Swell”, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York
“Press Art”, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg
“The Forest of my dream”, Gallerie du conseil Général of Aix-en-Provence, France
“Make Yourself at Home”, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark
“Adding Complexity to Confusion: A Kind of History of Engaged Practice”, Grizdale Arts at The Tate Britain, London, UK
“Adaptation”, The Power Plant, Toronto
Le Burlesque in Contemporary Art, Centre Culturel André Malruex, Bourget, France
“Cover Up”, The Tape Modern, Berlin
“If a tree falls in a forest, and know one is around to hear it, does it make a sound”, Solyst Artist in Residency Center, West Zealand
“Global Localism”, (temporary venue), Hawaii
“Fumetto”, Kunstmuseum, Luzern
“Desire”, Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin
“And The Moral of The Story Is…Witte de With”, Center for Contemporary Art, New Zealand
“Be A Star, Play A Model”, International Photo Festival, Knokke
“Knock Knock: Who’s There That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore”, Armand Bartos Fine Art & Fred Torres Collaborations, New York
“Contact”, Toronto Photography Festival, Toronto
“Fantasmagoria The Mythic World”, The Abattoirs Museum, Toulouse
“Press Art”, KunstMuseum St Gallen
“I am Swiss”, Musée Rath, Geneva
“The Secret Knows”, LAND, Austin
Shanghai Billboards, Various locations, Shanghai
Nuit Blanche, The Drake Hotel, Toronto
“Objects, Furniture and Patterns”, Art Since the Summer of 69, New York
“Rock Garden”, Salon 94, New York
“The Likely Fate of The Man That Swallowed The Ghost”, Centre Pompidou, Paris
“Bernhard Wilhelm Retrospective”, Groninger Museum, Groningen
“Pandora’s Box”, Performa, White Box, New York
Time Out Video Festival, UCCA, Beijing
Tina B Festival, Prague
Photo Festival Mannheim Ludwigshafen Heidelberg,Public space, Germany
“Warehouse of Horrors”, Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh, UK
“The Reach of Realism”, MoCA, Miami
“Total Nowhere Emotional Expansion”, Brisbane Festival, Brisbane
“Lowlands Summer Music Festival”, Stedilijk Museum, Amsterdam
“I Am Comedy”, Arnolfini, Bristol, UK
“Borderline Pleasure”, Michael Janssen Galerie, Berlin
“Today and Everyday”, X Projects, New York
“The Haunted Chateau”, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Indianapolis
“Foodprint Exposition”, Art & Architecture Center, Stroom Den HaagThe Netherlands
“60 Minutes:, Institute for Research in Art, University of South Florida, Tampa
“The Uncertainty Principal”, Museu d’Art Contemorani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona
Stranger Things Are Happening”, ASPEX, Portsmouth, UK
“The Magic and The Funny Meet Again”, De Brokke Grond, Amsterdam
“TradeCity”, Contemporary Art Manchester (CAM), Manchester, UK
“Fotographica Bogotá”, Photo Museum, Bogota
“Everything Must Out Going:, Asia Song Society, New York
Nils Staerk, Copenhagen
Vanderbuilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville
“Hypocricy: The Sitespecificity of Morality”, The National Museum, Oslo
“PictoPlasma”, Haus der Kulturen, Berlin
“ Books, Books, Nothing else than Books”, Ursula Blickle Foundation, KraichtaleGermany
“Born in The Morning, Dead By Night”, Leo Koenig, New York “
“Moving Money: Global Capital and the Dematerialization of Value”, SAC, New York
“Virtual Insanity”, Cinders Gallery, Brooklyn
“A Meeting Between the Tragic and The Funny”, Hessen Huis Museum, Antwerp
“Unfictions”, EMPAC, TroyNew York
“Uncharted”, University at Albany Art Museum, AlbanyNew York
“Travelogue”, Virginia Commonwealth University, RichmondVancouver
F.I.S.Co, Festival Internazional sullo Spettacolo Contemporanea (9th edition), Bologna, Italy
“Offset Exhibit”, Mount Tremper Arts Facility, Hudson, New York
Fotofestival Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, Heidelberg, Germany
“Experimenta Folklore”, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt
“Second Nature”, Domaine départemental de Chamarande, Paris
“The Empty Page”, James Fuentes, New York
“Looking at Music”, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
“Dream Berries”, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Muenster, Germany
“Aurum”, Centre Pasque Art, Bie, Switzerland
“Family Affair”, Conduits/Gea Politi, Milan
“I Am Comedy”, Hotel MariaKapel, Holland
“Second_Nature”, Gallery Nosbaum and Reding, Luxembourg
“The Rocky Mountain People Show”, Galleria Civica di Arte Conteporanea, Torino, Italy
“Living London, I Don’t like to Curate, but at least I like the Videos I Selected”, 176, London
“Less is Less and More is More, That’s all”, CAPC Musée d’art Contemporain, France
“Anyone got Wood”, Bondegatan, Stockholm
“Nekrokvlt”, Impakt Festival, Utrecht
“Damn I wish I’d made that, Chapter, Cardiff, UK
Moscow Short Film Festival, Moscow
Tell Tchaikovsky the News”, Standard, Oslo
“Like Watching a Train Wreck”, Groeflin Maag Galerie, Zürich
“Damaged”, GBE Passerby, New York
“Laughing in a Foreign Language”, Hayward Gallery, London, UK
Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
“The Spectrarium (the ghosts of the Machine)”, Fondation Suisse, Paris
“After Effects”, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Santiago, Santiago
“ Fun, Fun, Fun”, Aros Aarhus Kunst Museum, Aarus
Collection/Sammlung, Migros Mu2008 Bad Moon Rising, ISPC, New York
“Bad Moon Rising”, ISPC, New York
Air de Paris, Galerie Delphine Pastor, Monaco
“Total Recall (Bernhard Willhelm)”, Mode Museum, Antwerp
“Playback”, Musée dArt Moderne de la Ville da Paris, Paris
“Hold the Line”, Ferenbalm-Gurbrü Station, Karlsruhe, Germany
“Elsewhere”, University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa
IDYLLE, DA2 Domus Artium 2002, Salamanca
Group, Home I, King, The Dome, Toronto
Les Collections, CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux
“What We Bought, Camera Austria (Steirischer Herbst), Graz
“Mask”, James Cohan Gallery, New York
Dutch Film Festival, Lowlands, Amsterdam
“Enlarge Your Practice”, La Friche la Belle de Mai, Marseille
Arnhem Mode Biennale, Bernhard Wilhelm, Arnhem
“Yo”, Rivington Arms, New York
“Imagination becomes Reality Part VI”, Museum of Contemporary Art at ZKM, Germany
“The Return of the Seven Samurai”, Galerie Lucy Mackintosh, Lausanne, Switzerland
“Forest Assembly”, Gallery Alexandra Dyvi, Oslo
“All about Laughter”, Mori Museum, Tokyo
“Destroy Athens”, 1st Athens Biennial, Athens
“Panoramica”, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City
“Music is a Better Noise”, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York
Galeria Leyendecker, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Architecture, Art and Landscape Biennal, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
“Flesh Records”, Haswellediger, New York
Nuit Blanche, Paris
International Photo Festival Seoul, Seoul
Impact Festival, Utrecht
“Distor”, Garillo Gill Museum, Mexico City
“Summer”, Nils Staerk Contemporary, Copenhagen
“Detonating Detours”, Maison de la Culture dAmiens, Amien
Summer Kamp K48 2006, John Connelly Presents, New York
“Some Tribes”, Scalo Guye Gallery, Los Angeles
“Video program Switzerland 3 Generations”, Spazio Culturale Svizzero di Venezia, Venice,
“JRP Rigniers Exhibition in Paris”, Christophe Daviet-Thery Gallery, Paris
“Human Game”, Pitti Fondazione, Florence, Italy
Rencontres dArles Award, Arles, France
“Imagination becomes Reality Part VI”, Sammlung Goetz, Munich
Videonale – Negative Space Extend, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn
“Action”, Frac Provence-Alpes-Còte dAzur, Marseille
Expo PHOTOsuisse, Musceo comunale dArte Moderna Ascona, Switerland
Expo PHOTOsuisse, Pinacoteca Casa Ruece, Locarno, Switerland
“Cindy Shermann, Gianni Motti, Olaf Breuning”, Galerie Nicola von Senger, Zurich
“Waking-Up”, Galerie Cortex Athletico, Bordeaux, France
“The Bravo show”, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Kie, Germany
“Cindy Sherman, Jim Shaw, Olaf Breuning”, Metro Pictures, New York
“Blanknessisnot a Void”, Standard, Oslo
“30 video works from the Goetz Collection”, Seedamm Kulturzentum, Pfäffikon, Switzerland
Arndt & Partner, Berlin
“Abstract Naturally”, Centre dArt Contemporain Genève, Geneva
“Kults, Werewolves and Sarcastic Hippies”, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
“Canale Grande in the public baths”, Kunsthalle St Gallen, Switzerland
“Exhibition project PHOTO Swiss”, Istituto Svizzero di Roma, Rome
“Old and New Dreams (Prince Charles Cinema for Art Fortnight)”, Artprojx ,London, UK
“Fade to White”, Vita Kuben, Umea
“When Humor Becomes Painful”, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich
“Mirgration Baustelle Schweiz”, Toni Areal, Zürich
Film Festival Lima/ Cuszco, Center of Photography, Lima
Photography Festival Antwerp, Stella Lohaus Gallery, Antwerp
“Nomads Land”, Miracle Association, Bayonne, France
“Figure it out”, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, New York
“With us Against Reality, or Against Us”, Loft, Oslo, Norway
“Viennastripe”, Museum in Progress, Vienna
“First We Take Arts Now”, Museum of Contemporary Art Kisama, Helsinki
“Contemporary burlesque”, Jeu de Pomme, Paris
“Growing up Absurd”, Kent Institute of Art, Kent, UK
“Second Sight”, The Prague Biennale of Contemporary Art, Prague

Collections (selected)

Centre Pompidou, Paris
AROS, Aarhus, Denmark
Bank Julius Bär & Co. AG, Zürich
CAPC – Musee d’art contemporain, Bordeaux
Collection Rignier, Zurich
Collection Zellweger-Luwa, Uster, Switzerland
Collection Schweizer Rück, Zürich
Collezione La Gaia, Brusca, Italy
Elipse Foundation, Lisbon
FRAC Bourgogne, France
Fonds National D’art Contemporain, France
Grafische Sammlung des Museums für Gestaltung, Zurich
Kunsthalle Hamburg
Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland
Kunsthaus Zürich
Louisiana Museum, Copenhagen
Musée d’Art Moderne, Centre de Création Industrielle, France
Museum zu Allerheiligen, Schaffhausen, Switzerland
Sammlung Falkenberg, Hamburg
UBS Collection, Switzerland
Sammlung Goetz, München, Germany
Zürcher Kantonalbank, Zürich
Saatchi Collection, London, UK
Centre Pompidou, Musee National d’Art Moderne, Paris
MAMCS: Musee d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg
Burger Collection, Berlin
FRAC: Provence – Alpes-Cote d’Azur, Marseille
Migros Museum, Zürich
Trevi Flash Art Museum of Contemporary Art, Trevi
Gallery of Contemporary Art Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow
Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur
Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville
IAC: Institut d’art contemporain Villeurbanne, Rhone-Alpes, Villeurbanne
Zabludowicz Collection, London

Permanent Public Sculptures/Installation

“Clouds” Central Park, New York
“The Guardians”, Toronto
“Snow Drawing”, Elevation 1049, Gstaad


2000, Manor-Kunstpreis, Schaffhausen
2000, Bundesstipendium freie Kunst
2000, Kiefer-Hablitzel Stipendium
1999, Bundesstipendium freie Kunst
1999, Kiefer-Hablitzel Stipendium
1999, Moët-Chandon Stipendium
1999, Atelierstipendium New York, Stadt Zürich
1998, Bundesstipendium freie Kunst
1998, UBS-Werkjahrstipendium
1998, Atelierstipendium Rom, Istituto Svizzero
1997, Atelierstipendium BINZ 39, Zürich