Olaf Breuning

Olaf Breuning (Swiss, b. 1970) is a visual artist from Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Breuning always had an interest in art and photography, and he studied photography at Zuercher Hochschule der Kuenste, Zürich, in Switzerland. He graduated with a degree in 1993. After completing his advanced graduate degree in 1996, he started to work as a visual artist. Though he only made a name for himself over the last two decades, he is best known for his impact on Contemporary Art.


Breuning currently divides his time between New York City and Zurich, Switzerland.


Attended Berufsausbildung Fotograf, Weiterbildungsklasse Fotographie, Höhere Schule für Gestaltung.

Selected solo exhibitions  


The HOME Trilogy, Modern Art Oxford, UK (screening)

The Grid, Paul Klee Museum, Bern, Switzerland

The HOME Trilogy, Metro Pictures, New York, USA (screening)

Camelpos Femina, Carbon 12, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The HOME Trilogy, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, UK (screening)


Human Nature, The Box, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London Home 3, Swiss Institute, New York, USA (screening)


The Art Freaks, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France

The Art Freaks, Metro Pictures, New York, USA

The Art Freaks, Kodama Gallery, Kyoto


Surface to Air, Paris, France

Galerie Nicola von Senger, Zürich, Switzerland

Can Someone Tell Us..., Centre d'Art Contemporain la Chapelle du Geneteil, France

Yes? No?, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland


Langhans Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic

Small Brain Big Stomach, Metro Pictures, New York, USA

Michael Benevento, Los Angeles, USA

Life is a Wheel/Color Studies, Kodama Gallery, Tokyo; Kyoto, Japan


Metro Pictures, New York, Conduits Gallery, Milan, Italy


Galerie Nicola von Senger, Zurich, Switzerland

Migros Museum Für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland

Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow, Poland

Kodama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Australia


Home, Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney; The Gallery Sketch, London, UK

Nils Staerk Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark


Chinatown Objects, Metro Pictures, New York, USA

Galerie Nicola von Senger, Zurich, Switzerland

Ars Futura Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland

Galerie Meyer Kainer, Vienna, Austria

Olaf Breuning: Oh yes...It is a garden, Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK

Olaf Breuning: They Live, Chapter Gallery, Cardiff, UK


Home, Metro Pictures, New York, USA

Olaf Breuning – films, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain

Olaf Breuning – videos, Toulouse, France

Kodama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

The New Stedelijk Museum CS/ Auditorium, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Nils Staerk Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Denmark


Air de Paris, Paris, France

Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City

Musée de Strasbourg, France

Art Unlimited, Art Basel, Basel, Switzerland

Galerie Arndt & Partner, Berlin, Germany

Magasin Cente National d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble, France


Hello Darkness, Swiss Institute, New York, USA

Ars Futura Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland


Primitiv, Metro Pictures, New York Swiss Institute, New York, USA

Galerie Meyer & Kainer, Vienna, Austria

Galerie Arndt & Partner, Berlin, Germany

Galerie Air de Paris, Paris, France

Museum zur Allerheiligen Schaffhausen, Switzerland; Manor-Kunstpreis Basel Kunstverein Freiburg, Germany

Artspace, Auckland, New Zealand

Chicago Project Room, Los Angeles, USA


ArsFutura Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland


Woodworld, Centre D’art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland

ArsFutura Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland


Woodworld, Kunsthaus Glarus, Glarus, Switzerland

Schlund/Chris C., Kunsthalle St. Gallen, Switzerland


Waldfest, Binz39, Zurich, Switzerland

Selected group exhibitions


Go! You sure? Yeah. A POOL Exhibition, LUMA/Westbau, Zurich, Switzerland

METAMATIC Reloaded, Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland

Lightness of Being, City Hall Park, New York, USA

The Cat Show, White Columns, New York, USA


The Circus as a Parallel Universe, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria

Liverpool Biennial, UK

Out of Focus: Photography, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK

Hidden Stories, KAI10 Raum für Kunst, Arthena Foundation, Dusseldorf, Germany

In Living Color, FLAG Art Foundation, New York, USA


The Last First Decade, Ellipse Foundation Contemporary Art Collection, Cascais, Portugal


Hareng Saur: Ensor and Contemporary Art, S.M.A.K./Museum of Fine Arts, Gent, Belgium

21st Century: Art in the First Decade, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia

Dream Time 2 — Fantasmagoria, Grotte Du Mas D’Azil, France

Fantasmagoria: Le Monde Mythique, Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France

PortugalArte 10, Lisbon, Portugal

Desire, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, USA

Adaptation: Between Species, The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada

The Secret (Still) Knows, Los Angeles Nomadic Division, The Lab, Los Angeles, USA


The Reach of Realism, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, USA

The Likely Fate of the Man That Swallowed the Ghost, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

The Uncertainty Principle, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona, Spain

About Photography, Museo Nacional de la Fotografía, Bogotá, Colombia

The Tragic and the Funny Meet Again, De Brakke Grond, Tijdelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Pictopia, House of World Cultures, Berlin, Germany

Hypocrisy: The Sitespecificity of Morality, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo, Norway

The Darkside II, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Zürich, Switzerland


A Meeting Between the Tragic and the Funny, Hessen Huis, Antwerp, Belgium

Experimenta Folklore, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany

The Station, Midblock East, Miami, USA

Looking at Music, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

Aurum: Gold in Contemporary Art, Le CentrePasquArt, Biel Bienne, Switzerland

Blasted Allegories: Works from the Ringier Collection, Kunstmuseum, Luzern, Switzerland

Collection, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich, Switzerland

Hayward Gallery, London, UK

Whitney Biennial 2008, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA

Family Affair, Conduits Gallery, Milan, Italy


James Cohan Gallery, New York, USA

What We Bought, Camera Austria, Kunsthaus Graz, Austria

Destroy Athens, 1st Athens Biennial, Technopolis of the City of Athens, Greece

Elsewhere, Contemporary Art Museum, University of South Florida, Tampa, USA

Metro Pictures, New York, USA

Imagination Becomes Reality, ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany

Architecture, Art and Landscape Biennial of the Canaries, Canary Islands, Spain

All About Laughter, Mori Art Museum, Japan


Panoramic, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City

Music is a Better Noise, P.S.1, New York, USA

Flesh Records, Haswellediger, New York, USA

Open House, The Ellipse Foundation: Contemporary Art Collection, Portugal

Nicola von Senger, Zurich, Switzerland

Metro Pictures, New York, USA


Burlesques Contemporains, Jeu de Paume, Paris, France

Olaf Breuning, Lily van der Stokker, Air de Paris, France


Boys Behaving Badly – Perspectives 142, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston Genesis Sculpture, Vranken Pommery, Reims, France

Planet B, Magazin4 Bregenzer Kunstverein, Bregenz, Austria


Urban Diaries–Young Swiss Art [Suiza en ARCO ’03], Alcalá 31, Madrid, Spain

Durchzug/ Draft, Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland

Metro Pictures, New York, USA

Extra, Swiss Institute, New York, USA

Fast Forward, Media Art Sammlung Goetz, KZM, Karlsruhe, Germany


Spring Forward, Downtown Arts Project, New York, USA

Golden Week, Kodama Gallery, Osaka, Japan

Liverpool Biennial, Bluecoat Gallery, Tate Liverpool & Pleasant Street Board School, Liverpool, UK


Swiss Institute, New York, USA

Tokyo TV, Palais Tokyo, Paris, France

Der Gehilfe, Museu de les Arts Decoratives, Barcelona; Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Dortmund, Germany

Anteprima Bovisa-Milano Europa 2000, Padiglione D’Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy

Je Pense Donc Je Suisse, FRAC PACE, Marseille, France

More Than One, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, USA

Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear, Team Gallery, New York, USA


Wall 6, Galerie Air de Paris, Paris Galerie Arndt Partner, Berlin, Germany

Reality Bites, Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Germany

Let's Entertain, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Portland Art   Museum, Oregon; Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City; Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany; Miami Art Museum, USA

Vis-à-vis, Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland

Desparate Optimists, Festival a/d Werft, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Der Gehilfe, Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, Switzerland; Kunsthalle Krems, Österreich, Austria

Presumed Innocent, Capc Musée, Bordeaux, France

The arsFutura Show, Galerie arsFutura, Zurich, Switzerland

Guarene Arte 2000, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Torino, Italy

Art & Public, Geneva, Switzerland

Transfert, Tenth Swiss Sculpture Exhibition, Biel

Au-Delà du Spectacle, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

Hyper Mental, Kunsthaus Zürich; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany

Ausstellung Bundesstipendium, Fri-Art, Fribourg, Switzerland

International Media Art Festival, Kiev, Ukraine

EX 25, Museum für Gestaltung, Zurich, Switzerland

Air Suisse, Ecole Superieure D’Art, Perpignan, France

Close Up, Kunstverein Baselland und Freiburg; Kunstverein Hannover, Hannover, Germany

Chicago Project Room, Los Angeles, California, USA


XN, Espace des Arts, Chalon sur Saone, France

Transfer, Instituto Svizzero Roma, Rome, Italy

Eidg. Wettbewerb für freie Kunst, Messe Basel, Switzerland

Städt. Wettbewerb für freie Kunst, Helmhaus Zürich, Switzerland

Statement, Art Basel, ARS Futura, Zurich, Switzerland

Palazzo delle Papese, Siena, Italy

Young, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland

DACH, Galerie Krinzinger, Bregenz; Semper Depot, Vienna, Austria

Come In and Find Out, Vol. 2, Podewil, Germany

They Came by Taxi, Parabolica Spaces, Berlin, Germany

Missing Link, Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland

Hotel Utopia, Vienna, Austria

From Camouflage to Free Style, Toasting Agency c/o Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris Ausstellung Bundesstipendium, Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland


Binz 39, Zurich, Switzerland

Freie Sicht aufs Mittelmeer, Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland

Eidg. Wettbewerb für freie Kunst, Messe Basel, Switzerland

Diana 98, X-Tra Zürich, Switzerland

Präsentation Film Woodworld, Castell Zuoz

Empire, Museum zu Allerheiligen, Schaffhausen, Switzerland

Grown in Frozen Time, Shed im Eisenwerk, Frauenfeld, Switzerland

Medium eine Werlt, Museum für Gestaltung, Zurich, Switzerland

Dogdays Are Over, Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris, France


Gewebeprobe, Museum zur Allerheiligen Schaffhausen, Switzerland (broch.)

Gross und Klein, Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, Switzerland

Bed & Breakfast, Grossmünsterturm, Zürich, Switzerland


Die Klasse, Museum für Gestaltung, Zurich, Switzerland


Ernte, Museum zur Allerheiligen Schaffhausen, Switzerland

Eidgenössischer Wettbewerb für Freie Kunst, Messe Basel, Switzerland


8004 Zürich (with Lewis Balz), Peter Kilchmann Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland

Public projects and installations


Snow Drawing, Elevation 1049, Gstaad, Switzerland


Art Public, Art Basel Miami Beach, USA

The Guardians, Liberty Village, Toronto, Canada

Parcours, Art Basel, Switzerland


Good News Bad News, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in conjunction with Contact Photography Festival, Toronto, Canada

It Had Better Be Good, One Day it Will Be, St. Paul’s Park, Bristol, UK


Sand Sculpture, Commissioned by the Sagamore Hotel, Art Basel Miami Beach, USA




Station to Station, Duggal Greenhouse, Brooklyn Navy Yard, New York, USA

Move!, SESC Belenzinho, Sao Paulo (with Cynthia Rowley), Brazil


Titanic, Kunstraum Kreuzlingen, Switzerland


Finsterlinge, Motorenstrasse 23, Zurich, Switzerland

Hony, Universität Zürich, Vortrag Harm Lux FILM WORK


Home 3, 38 minutes


Home 2, 30 minutes


Home, 32 minutes


Group, 10 minutes


Ugly Yelp, 5 minutes

King, 10 minutes


Gum Glum Glee, 9 minutes


Woodworld, 9 minutes

Cris Croft, 4 minutes


Bank Julius Bär & Co. AG, Zurich, Switzerland

Collection Rignier, Zurich, Switzerland

Collection Zellweger-Luwa, Uster, Switzerland

Collection Schweizer Rück, Zurich, Switzerland

Collezione La Gaia, Brusca, Italy

Ellipse Foundation, Portugal

FRAC Bourgogne, France


Grafische Sammlung des Museums für Gestaltung, Zurich, Switzerland

Kunsthalle Hamburg, Germany

Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland

Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland

Louisiana Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark

Migros Museum, Zurich, Switzerland

Musée d’Art Moderne/Centre de Création Industrielle, France

Museum zu Allerheiligen, Schaffhausen, Switzerland

Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Germany

Zürcher Kantonalbank, Zurich, Switzerland