Matthew Brannon: To Say the Very Least

Art Gallery of York University, 2008
8.5×12 in, 184 pp, 80 col/10 B&W, softcover
ISBN 978-0-921972-50-1
$60.00

Distributed by D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers

To Say the Very Least is the first comprehensive publication on the print and installation work of New York artist Matthew Brannon. Everything takes place on the surface, or just under it, in Brannon’s work, just as everything is public or takes place in public there. The prints exploit their generic relation to advertising and posters, but the benign appearance of the illustrations, reminiscent of 1950s cookbooks and cocktail manuals, is undercut by the fine print of embossed texts, which teeter towards inappropriate confessions and unpardonable acts. These texts, with their hint of literary genres tinged by noir, are little melodramatic scenarios of success and failure, careerism and alcoholism, substance abuse and sexual misadventure. Each set of prints stages Brannon’s principal question, “Why are people their own worst enemies?”

Designed by Paul Wagner.

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