Introduction by Kristie Bretzke

My poolscapes represent a new direction for me as a painter, moving away from portraiture and the figure to address architectural structures in the environment. Although the subject matter is a departure, my aesthetic is unchanged, along with my motivation to express emotion and create a contemporary statement.

01This series of empty pools explores memories and yearnings from my youth. Several nocturnes feature massive concrete pools bathed in cool light. The season is over but the stark beauty remains. From a neglected pool in India, still beautiful in its disrepair, to a pristine rooftop pool in Minneapolis, the images are simple, quiet, and presented in a straightforward and unadorned fashion.

The emptiness of my pools invites the viewer to contemplate the missing element: water. Today millions of people struggle to procure safe drinking water for their families. As a Minnesotan raised in an area surrounded by freshwater lakes, I was privileged to enjoy an abundance of pure, clean water. The absence of water in my pools evokes a personal nostalgia and represents a universal loss.


About the Artist

Kristie BretzkeKristie Bretzke is a Minnesota-based painter and sculptor. She received her BFA degree from the University of Minnesota where she studied studio art and art history. She has shown her work extensively in Minnesota, California, Wisconsin, and China. Bretzke has been awarded residencies at Centre d’Art in Marnay-sur-Seine, France; Palazzo Rinaldi in Noepoli, Italy; and the Künstlerhaus in Salzburg, Austria. Bretzke is an artist-member of the Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art, a prominent artist cooperative located in the historic Warehouse District of downtown Minneapolis, where she maintains her art studio.

Find more of Kristie’s work at


ARTerrain Gallery | Absence of Water: Poolscapes
By Kristie Bretzke

Images in this gallery may not be copied or otherwise used without express written consent of the artist. Click image to view in larger size or to begin slideshow:


Header image: Poolscape 11, by Kristie Bretzke.

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