Since 2017, Kerstin Brätsch has been working with a Roman artisan on a series of stucco-marmo works, using the 17th-century Italian technique, in which pigments are mixed with wet plaster and glue to create the effect of marble. These vibrant works evoke not only fossil-like fragments and brushstrokes but also fantastical creatures and facial features.
Brätsch’s interest in the stucco-marmo is partly in the preservation of the disappearing technique of Stuccatura (plastering) and Intarsia. But her probing a permeable material as she has done with her antique glass works; her development of talismanic painterly objects in her KAYA collaboration; her challenging the elaborate marbling technique on a very large scale or, as in the stucco-marmo case, her attempt to fossilize painting shows also, that with each new body of work, the artist tries to more and more expand the boundaries of painting.
This group of stucco-marmos was conceived together with the artist’s 35 piece-strong site-specific installation for New York City’s Museum of Modern Art in 2019.