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Artists' Reception: Matthew Brandt at M+B Gallery

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 09, 2011
Updated: Thursday, January 02, 2014
DATE: September 9, 2011

Two Ships Passing

Artists' Opening: Friday, September 16
6:00 - 8:00 pm

Exhibition Dates: Sept. 16 - Oct. 29, 2011


Matthew Brandt explores the interdependence between the United States and China in his exhibition Two Ships Passing. The expression is multi-layered, so too is the work created with the concept in mind. Themes of potential, promise, need, aspiration, progress are explored in the work.

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One area Brandt leaves untouched are points of dispute, arguments between the giants. There are many planes the two countries do not meet on, do not see eye to eye on, but these intersections are not explored directly in the work, rather may evolve because of the work in the mind of the viewer.

The space between at points of intersection is stage for the work and is first explored with images of ships passing each other in their own domestic waters. Large format salt prints are made with the very waters they depict and the construction folds thoughtfully onto concept. As we look at ships on the horizon we are more aware of the gap between vessels than in their chance of meeting. The prints have an eery calm, a quiet watching and waiting, a sense too of normalcy, repetition, and dependance. It is as if the space is desired, sacred, even protected by the passing ships. An uneasy tension develops in our own minds.

A more electric work pushes the envelope and reinforces sense of need for protective distance as it reinforces litteral connectivity. Entering the gallery viewers are greeted with a sign, "For your safety do not touch the artwork." Exposed current runs through etched copper picture planes and circuit boards are photographs of Mao Zedong's birthplace, Hunan China. The charge continues past a set of C-prints and onto an original Edison Company light bulb. Once the sign of American ingenuity and manufacturing power, the contemporary counterpart to this relic is now made in China.

Two Ships Passing resonates in segments and holistically with strong and profound tone, speaking in one moment to past and present. As realities of Two Ships Passing evolves fully in our mind we wonder at looming futures.

For more information please visit M+B Gallery


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This exhibition is part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945–1980, a Getty initiative that brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California to examine the history of contemporary art in Los Angeles.

Visit Pacific Standard Time for more information on this and other events.

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