Apollinaria Broche

Throughout her sculpture and installation-based practice, Apollinaria Broche (b. 1995; Moscow, Russia) creates places of escape and retreat from the world that blur boundaries between the real and imagined. Working primarily in bronze and ceramic, Broche highlights the dualities present throughout her practice: strength and fragility, nightmare and dream, personal and political, fantasy and reality.


Drawing inspiration from art history and fairy tales, Broche crafts strange, fanciful landscapes populated by fantastical flowers and shape-shifting mythical creatures in a  practice that is informed by a host of visual sources—from Fra Angelico’s luminous mysticism, Henry Fuseli’s emotive romanticism, Leonora Carrington’s sacred surrealism, and David Lynch and Dario Argento’s cinematic visions. From this confluence of established symbols and references, Broche constructs immersive dreamscapes and escapist universes that operate according to a logic known only to the artist. Weighty ceramic flowers rest on bronze stems ornately decorated with a host of symbolically rich adornments and suspend from climbing bronze vines. Plausibly mythological figures, captured in moments of arrested narrative, reenact uncertain myths: they cling to lovers or captors, transform into animals, and melt out of snail’s shells.


Yet, trouble lurks within Broche's gardens of fantasy and folly: snakes slither up immense bronze flower stems, cracks appear in clay bodies, fairy wings disintegrate, phantoms emerge from walls. Slipping through the cracks of consciousness, these signs of inescapable cruelty and violence, of pain and danger—punctuated by the strength of bronze and the fragility of ceramic—shatter Broche’s carefully crafted illusions, as in a delicate dream that transforms into a lurid nightmare. 


Broche's work as been the subject of solo and dual exhibitions at Island, Brussels, Belgium; Parco della Versiliana, Pietrasanta, Italy; Triumph Gallery, Moscow, Russia; Archivio Iginio Balderi, Milan, Italy; Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA, and ENSBA Paris, France. In 2022, Broche collaborated with Acne Studios. She has also been included in exhibitions at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russia; New Galerie, Paris, France; and Galerie Michel Journiac, Paris, France, among others. Broche lives and works in Pietrasanta, Italy and Paris, France.