Matthew Brannon “Skirting the Issue”

Casey Kaplan

poster for Matthew Brannon “Skirting the Issue”

This event has ended.

Casey Kaplan presents Matthew Brannon’s Skirting the Issue, the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. Following a recent three-year “textploration,” which included the composition of novels and text-based films and paintings, Brannon introduces an anomalous, primarily image-centered installation. Featuring twelve large-scale works on paper, this exhibition focuses on the pictorial and graphic systems that have been ever-present within the artist’s practice. In pursuit of a visual language tendered in a similarly suggestive manner to that of the written word through themes informed by paradigms of 21st century cultural and social establishments, Brannon undertakes traditional methods of printmaking, including letterpress prints, silkscreens, and lush hand painting on paper.

The underlying story of the exhibition ventures into American history as Brannon explores emotional registers within the context of the Vietnam/American War, and that of America’s suggested transition from anti-colonial to anti-communist. In an attempt to better understand the period’s ambitions and anxieties, Brannon storyboards and stages, not as a historian, academic or politician, but obliquely (in the sense of Derrida) as an artist. Palpable references to universal yet explicit notions are made; a suspended moment in time holds subliminal connotations that provoke larger queries into social ideals and our personal crises within these constraints.

The imagery and objects rendered allude to the mass consumerism that rapidly developed during the lead-in to this moment (the ‘40s and ‘50s) in a resounding response to pop cultural idioms provided by television, film, advertisements, and literature. In much of the work there is a playful duality: a diploma rests opposite imagery of stereo equipment; perfume is paired with a Western Union telegram; and comfort food is viewed in tandem with the U.S. capitol, exposing a grand delusion. One of Brannon’s desires is to destabilize perception and allow for multiple interpretations within non-linear compositions of diverging pictorial and temporal elements. Skirting the Issue carries this through, releasing the experience by creating a forum where nothing is more suspicious than innocence.



from September 10, 2015 to October 24, 2015

Opening Reception on 2015-09-10 from 18:00 to 20:00


Matthew Brannon

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