Get ready for artist Pablo Bronstein’s visions of time, featured at Frieze art fairs around the world

It makes sense that a luxury watchmaker like Breguet would collaborate with an artist whose work revolves around time. Or maybe we should say the UK-based Argentinian artist Pablo Bronstein deals with “the timeless”.

His intricate architectural designs are difficult to pin down in any era. They can look completely contemporary or look like a delightfully preserved artifact unearthed in an antiquarian archive room, or a mixture of both. Elements of 18th century buildings blend with modern styles to create an orderly utopian vision that does not match our chaotic reality.

The work exudes a rich knowledge of history with a whimsical vision of a possible future – it’s science fiction meets baroque meets another dimension. Bronstein’s work blurs the line between fine and decorative art, and he even delves into performance from time to time.

Pablo Bronstein admires a watch. Courtesy of Breguet.

During the preview of Frieze New York last week, one of Breguet’s craftsmen, Guillaume Braud, a “master of guillochewas sitting at a workstation. He was looking through a magnifying glass and carefully working on a guillochage, the process of engraving a dial by hand (the precise and intimate way in which all Breguet dials are made).

Surrounding this painting were Bronstein’s striking wallpapers, Panoramic wallpaper with important 18th century machinery, which depicts fantastic retro-futuristic machines with gears galore. Among the golden curiosities on display are an antique drill, a mechanical guillotine and a Breguet watch sold to British monarch George IV.

“It is based on picturesque block-printed wallpapers such as those made by Zuber in the late 18th and early 19th centuries,” the artist said in a statement. “He is influenced by the machines represented in Diderot’s encyclopedia, and the constraint of the early 18th century to decorate everything.”

Bronstein worked with digital artist Skyla Bridges to create the artwork. “I then decorated them by hand,” he said. “It took many hours. We then placed them on a “stage” much like the wallpaper panoramas of the 19th century.

The theatrical allure of Pablo Bronstein's vision.  Courtesy of Breguet.

The theatrical allure of Pablo Bronstein’s vision. Courtesy of Breguet.

Founded in 1775, Breguet blends old-world precision and craftsmanship with the modern age (and the ironic status of the watch as digital age luxury). The Swiss company’s new partnership with Frieze art fairs is strategically sound – art collectors and lovers of fine timepieces are cross sections of the company.

Bronstein will unveil various Breguet orders at the Frieze shows in Seoul in September and London in October, as well as in Los Angeles next year. They are sure to incorporate the artist’s singular sense of timing.

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