new-york

Matthew Brannon, Early Retirement, 2011, metal, wood, hand-carved high density foam, acrylic, enamel, 56 1/2 x 111 1/4 x 9".

Matthew Brannon

Casey Kaplan

Matthew Brannon, Early Retirement, 2011, metal, wood, hand-carved high density foam, acrylic, enamel, 56 1/2 x 111 1/4 x 9".

The flat, graphic style of Matthew Brannon’s work derives from the visual innovations of Madison Avenue during its midcentury golden age. In this exhibition, that coolly nostalgic look surfaced in silkscreen and letterpress prints, as well as in paintings, sculptures, and cloth uniforms (the last made in collaboration with menswear designer Carlo Brandelli). These works were installed across three galleries, each of which suggested a discrete room—or, more precisely, a theatrical set. For each gallery corresponded to an “act” in a play, written by the artist, the plot of which is elliptically described yet never disclosed in broadsides hanging on the walls.

The texts on these placards are clipped and listlike. In the “Act I” gallery, the first of them read, in part, “A bar of long wall mounted glass shelves lined with endless bottles. A curved banquette with a seahorse motif

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