Gió Marconi

Matthew Brannon

19 Nov 2010 - 22 Jan 2011

© Matthew Brannon
installation view: the inevitable & the unnecessary, Giò Marconi, 2010
The Inevitable and the Unnecessary
19 November, 2010 - 22 January, 2011

Gio Marconi gallery is pleased to present “The Inevitable and the Unnecessary", their second exhibition by New York artist Matthew Brannon. The show opens Thursday the 18th and runs through January 22nd. The show addresses themes of disconnectedness, access, repressed desire, alcoholism, and career choice.

Historically Brannon’s artwork has taken a wide variety of forms: tapestries, letterpress prints, silkscreens, wall paintings, sound recordings, writing and film. To this list he now adds the most conventional of art forms: oil painting and drawing. The paintings, done in monochromatic shades of gray, white, and black, depict abstract floral forms based off drawings Brannon made from life. Some suggest dark gardens at night; others cascading white leaves against pale grey backgrounds.

Shown alongside the paintings are a series of works which literally reverse the paintings. These works metaphorically face the wall and present their back to the viewer. They address the external supports for painting and comment on the tools available for those taking on the job title of artist. A variety of acrylic collage paintings are presented along with new sculptures of stretcher bars. In them one feels Brannon’s consistent teasing of the clichéd but persistent image of an artist we imagine: Alone in their studio at night. Drinking wine, smoking, reading dog-eared paperbacks, playing jazz records, wiping his paint-smeared hands on his jeans.

Included are three new sculptures of bar shelves with life size hand carved and painted wood bottles. Their color echoes the neutral palate of the paintings. Both the pleasure and consequences of drinking has been a long standing subject of Brannon's work. Also featured is a pair of Brannon's signature letterpress prints which pair his illustrations against his writing.

Once when asked what art was for, Brannon responded “a productive frustration and a pleasant irritation.” Ultimately he places the audiences engagement first and offers his artwork as an irritant or tease of sorts. Not a distraction but an opportunity to question motivations and desires. An opportunity to piece together the story much like finding oneself at the scene of the crime. Is this blood all over the floor or is it only spilled wine?

Tags: Matthew Brannon