Cologne based artist, Matti Braun



After visiting the Arnolfini at the previous Matti Braun exhibition, I was influenced by the sociological concepts that Braun suggests through his instalment and print based collection.

The exhibition experience at the Arnolfini was enjoyable and Braun’s work was particularly interactive with the visitors of the exhibition.

This encounter with the works of Matti Braun and his exhibition inspired me to create an essay piece constituting around Braun and some of his other works for some project work at college.


 I analyzed the print design ‘Edo’ produced by Braun in 1999 in a print collection named ‘Bunta Garbo’.

The work was immediately inspirational. I appreciated the contrast between uniform shape and dynamic semi-abstract pattern in the work.

The use of heavily weighted serif typography compliments a comforting tone of voice.

The Edo print work is a lesser-known print in the Bunta Garbo collection, but remains an inspirational composition of objects on page.


The SMBA museum in Amsterdam first released the work to the public in 2002. After further research documented by the SMBA, Matti braun had actually not produced the artwork himself but composed the print design and its elements to entail a more conceptual meaning.

The artwork was produced by an early abstract Japanese artist, ‘Yorozu Tetsugoro’ in their work ‘untitled’ (1999).

The concept that Braun portrays by using this artwork is this ever-growing sense of globalization through media and the arts in society.

Braun selected this image to be used in the print design because it was a documentation of the bridge between cultures. Japan had previously perceived abstract art as purely a westernised creation, and it is this work by Tetsugoro that provided a revolution in Japanese traditionalism with this abstract untitled piece. (Tetsugoro styles presented below).


Though I appreciate the collaboration of the artwork, the design composition and the choice of typography used by Braun, the print entirely questions the role of an artist.


Should the print illustrate the craftsmanship of an artist or the time pressed into individual ideas and perceptions of our world?

Could the artwork justify a large price tag if the design is a collaboration of work from other artists?

Matti Braun allows the viewer to read the conceptual message without a direction in how the viewer should feel towards these societal based works. I think it is this role of the work which I love most. The work can appear fresh and alternative in perceptions, seen by different people in different ways.


– Jack B


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