Matthew Branon - Sarah Morris: If direction is a look

Madrid, September 17 - October 24, 2004

Press Release

Galería Javier López is pleased to celebrate the opening of this season, 2004 - 2005, with a joint exhibition by American artist, Matthew Brannon (1970, Idaho) and British artist, Sarah Morris (1967, London). The show, presents under the same title, ‘If direction is a look,’ Sarah Morris’s most recent paintings next to tapestries, silk-screens and works on paper by Matthew Brannon.

As part of the next generation of New York artists, Matthew Brannon shows interest in all commercial and printed material. In his series ‘Wine labels’ he uses the traditional typographic technique to create works on paper of exquisite finishing; gathering together images and imaginary terms or appropriated words from miscellaneous environments. For example, the label for ‘Drunk Baptism’ reads, “Vin fin de table de God / The fear which organizes your guilt” or the tag for ‘Loss of Words’ states “Vin fin de table Terrible / Weak choice.” Inspired by the similarities between the art world and ‘B’ movie scripts - in which a group of believers and sceptics is invited to witness and analyse the psychic energy produced in haunted houses, - Matthew Brannon produced in 2000 a silkscreen series that followed the model of posters from horror movies or ghostly houses. Yet, his most characteristic works are his delicate tapestries. These works, made with acrylic and embroidery on canvas, continue the exhibition’s colour palette of blacks, pinks and gold. In this series, the artist explores one of his classic themes: the apparently insoluble tension between design and discourse in painting.

In contrast, Sarah Morris’s style is very physical, abstract and complex. She shows architectural layouts in household gloss paint on large square canvases. The perspective of her paintings has become increasingly complicated over time, with layered internal space and vortex - like structures that shift the picture beyond the reality of the canvas as a two - dimensional object. For her exhibition at Galería Javier López Sarah Morris exhibited a body of new paintings based on the city of Los Angeles. The works represent a further step in her use of language; the grids have become fragmented, reduced to a few single lines or vectors that cut dramatically across the canvas in angles or that cease themselves, creating geometric shapes akin to a mental image of a particular and temporal urban view. The city becomes her reference, and her work responds to the dynamic complexity of urban and architectural constructions. Sarah Morris uses a three - dimensional system of multiple and overlapping vanishing points that hints in code form at the network of cities. Further, the colour palette she uses combines a sense of luxury and routine, recreating the magnetic attraction and glamour that reigns over a modern city. This colour palette is the fruit of a carefully elaborate system continually reworked by the artist. The final visual appearance of every single painting comprises a thorough and meticulous work process done in multiple permutations.

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Artist Page

Sarah Morris

Selected Press

Exit Express nº6
October, 2004

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Matthew Branon - Sarah Morris: If direction is a look

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