First Edition: East Hampton’s Glenn Horowitz bookseller displays Matthew Brannon’s letterpress prints, in conjuction with his new book with Bret Easton Ellis
By Stacey Goergen
To coincide with the launch of artist Matthew Brannon’s new book, Mr. Bret Easton Elliss / Mr. Matthew Brannon, a collaboration with writer Bret Easton Elliss, Glenn Horowitz Bookseller is presenting Matthew Brannon: Midlife Crisis Intermission, an exhibition featuring 10 of the artist’s letterpress prints dating from 2008 to 2012. Brannon very deliberately makes prints in editions of one, rejecting the traditional multiple format, and elevating the significance of the printed object. It is the first time these pieces have been shown in the US. In addition, Brannon has created three new works for the exhibition, inspired by the book.
For the book collaboration, Brannon selected passages from two of Ellis’s seminal works, Lunar Park and Less Than Zero. Mr Brett Ellis / Mr. Matthew Brannon is a numbered, limited edition of 250 in jacketed wrappers, 90 of which will be signed by the artist and writer; of these, 10 deluxe editions will come with a scriptural object.
Text is central to Brannon’s practice. He juxtaposes images and words, creating an irresolvable tension that blurs reality and fiction. One new work depicts a bottle of Wolfschmidt vodka with the phrase YOUR NEW WORST SECRET. At first blush, the work could be a standard advertisement; it takes a moment to realize that the words and images are not selling or celebrating anything. “There is a camouflage to my work that slows down perceptions,” says Brannon. “It’s flat-footed and distressing at the same time.”
Brannon relates this to Ellis’s work, suggesting why the excerted texts of disaffected and drug-soaked youth complement his images in the book. “My work is often about drowning one’s feelings,” notes Brannon. “It looks innocent, but it’s really very sinister.”