Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Matthew Brannon in an artist based in New York City whose work turns on the opposition—and ever-mounting imbrication—of art and design. After an early stint as a painter, he began to draw his inspiration from those printed materials that mediate everyday life in late-capitalist, early twenty-first- century America, from posters and advertisements to promotional flyers and take-out menus. But if Brannon’s iconography conjures...mass-produced, throwaway sources, his methods are laboriously handcrafted, even old-fashioned: screenprint, letterpress, and lithograph works, often executed in a limited palette and consistent in their graphic rigor. His art seems at first glance disarmingly direct. But as one turns to the text paired with his images, disorder intervenes. Behind the veneer of convenience, plenty, and success implied by the content and format of his images, Brannon seems to suggest, reside darker imperatives—abuse, excess, careerism, insecurity, and failure. His work has been exhibited in several solo and group shows. Solo exhibitions include The Question is a Compliment, Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York; Before You Say No, Galleria Gio Marconi, Milan; Where Were We, Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, New York; Try & Be Grateful, agyu, Art Gallery of York University, Toronto; Shoegazers & Graverobbers, Art 37 Statements, David Kordansky Gallery, Basel; Hyena, Jan Winkelmann, Berlin. His work was included in the Whitney Biennial 2008.