Michael Brennan: Grey Razor Paintings

Michael Brennan, MINUS SPACE

January 10 – February 15, 2014

MINUS SPACE is delighted to present the exhibition Michael Brennan: Grey Razor Paintings. This is the Brooklyn, New York-based artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery and it will feature a suite of new small-format paintings that merge geometric and gestural abstraction. The exhibition will take place at MINUS SPACE’s new Dumbo, Brooklyn location (111 Front Street, Suite 200).

Michael Brennan’s new paintings appear monochromatic upon first impression; however, employ a broad array of greys, blacks, and whites, which he tints with discreet amounts of other hues. Color is a core concern for Brennan and his paintings reflect his knowledge not only of established, spectral color painting, but also his deep interest in historical photography, printmaking, and early film.

A sense of economy, not minimalism, is a virtue for Brennan. He commonly employs no more than two layers of paint in his finished works, which juxtapose one or two bands of a single, solid color often pushed to the very top or bottom edges of the canvas, against a more organic area of paint, which he applies with a palette knife during a single session in the studio. About this hybridization, Brennan states, “The border, with all its various manifestations, fixes and telescopes the image.”

Size and scale are also critical concerns for Brennan. He remarks, “I’ve been thinking a lot about what the scale of our time might be. We live in an era where an enormous amount of information is concentrated on small objects like smart phones or tablets.” Although he has produced large format paintings in the past, Brennan has focused on producing small works with a thinner profile for the past few years. He continues, “I found that I got a better object/painting correlation that was analogous to a flat screen TV or some of the other tricked-out tech things we are all surrounded by. I also thought that most images of paintings are now trafficked through the web and the first thing that is lost is a sense of scale.”

Michael Brennan (b.1965, Pine Island, FL; lives Brooklyn, NY) has exhibited his work nationally and internationally for the past two decades, including in the United States, Mexico, Belgium, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. His paintings and works on paper have been reviewed in publications, including The New York Times, Art in America, ARTnews, Art New England, The Brooklyn Rail, ArtNet Magazine, and NY Arts. His writings and reviews have been published by The Brooklyn Rail, ArtNet Magazine, The Village Voice, The Architect’s Newspaper, American Abstract Artists, and Archives of American Art/Smithsonian Institution, among others.

Brennan’s work is included in collections, such as the Baltimore Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Jose Museum of Art, American Express, General Dynamics, Daimler AG, and Sony Corporation. Brennan holds an MFA from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, and a BA from the University of Florida. He is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute and has also taught at the School of Visual Arts, Hunter College, and Cooper Union in NYC.

Maria Anderson In Conversation with Michael Brennan, NY Arts Magazine, February 3, 2014
Seen In New York January 2014, by Paul Corio, Abstract Critical, February 3, 2014