Jenny Brosinski

Pushing the limits of mark-making with re-interpretions of modernist painting.

Jenny Brosinski sat with a knee raised towards her face on a step-ladder in her studio
Jenny Brosinski taking a photograph of her artwork to which she faces
Four images stuck to a wall using green tape
4 images

Jenny Brosinski was born in 1984 in Celle, Germany, and now lives and works in Berlin.


She grew up in a practical household, a family of craftsmen, and knew from an early age that she wanted to pursue life as an artist.

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With a commited following of fans and collectors, Brosinski's original works command prices as high as €15,000.

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Practice overview

Brosinski’s work has a fast, automatic feel. The large abstract paintings are dominated by pastel textures of unprimed canvas, along with the artist’s trademark scribbles that combine childish flare and refined composition. To create her works, Brosinski uses a range of materials including acrylic, charcoal, spray-paint, dirt, and olive oil; and she often puts her canvases through the washing machine or soaks them in the shower. Elements of text appear throughout her oeuvre, as if snippets of a teenagers’ diary or the defaced door of a nightclub toilet cubicle. Brosinski’s painting builds on the history of abstraction, neo-expressionism and minimalism, as well as drawing influence from cartoons, automatic writing, and contemporary artists such as Rose Wiley and Sterling Ruby. Through her use of layering and negative space, Brosinski explores memory, truth, and the possibilities of painting itself.

Brosinski’s titles pull her abstraction into personal memory. They called me weak (2020) is a large canvas with a black charcoal scrawl off-set from the centre of the image. The top of the canvas is covered in a pale, cream wash that is subtly contrasted against the rough texture of exposed canvas. To the left of the black scrawl is a gush of pale blue; and dusty flecks of paint and charcoal are dotted across the work, some of which seem purposefully drawn, and some accidental. Brought back to its title, They called me weak, the work is personified and suggests a response to personal experience. Instead of telling a specific story, however, it expresses a feeling, or emotional memory – the assertive mark-marking acts as a display of power and strength in defiance of its name.

Brosinski has a reductionist approach to painting. She pares down her compositions to the most essential elements that, through their simplicity and spontaneity, uncover the essence of line, colour and gesture. In this sense, Brosinski uses a methodology to create her pieces, rather than illustrating a preconceived image: she paints and draws without thinking, as though the mark-making is a visual stream of consciousness. This form of automatic art-making uncovers an unconscious, both of the artist herself, but also a collective unconscious: a personal expression of our time that pulls different schools of modernist painting into its own playful aesthetic language. Always testing the potential of the canvas, Brosinski makes an important contribution to contemporary abstract painting, and is sure to continue to do so throughout her career.

"In my paintings I create, combine and discard - I create my own very personal rules, only to be able to finally break them."Jenny Brosinski