New YorkPatrick Brennan: Life Raft
Halsey McKay presents Life Raft, the gallery’s third solo exhibition with Patrick Brennan.
Acrylic, spray paint, peach crates, stretcher bars, paintings, tree branches, monitor, speakers, lava lamps and rope
62 x 157 x 76 inches (157.4 x 398.8 x 193 cm)
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Brennan has spent the last few years in upstate New York expanding his unique visual language and earning an MFA from Cornell University. Brennan’s new paintings, installation and video work depict a vast and complicated space with intimate openings, windows and portals that peer into places flowing with wonder. Questioning traditionally perceived ideas of the sublime, the viewer experiences a series of appearingly chaotic choices and materials. With content blurred there is no easy way to formulate what each work is about, giving the viewer time to look and the space to engage with the various pieces teeming with collage and layered paint. Using any means necessary – acrylic paint, spray paint, foam, popsicle sticks, ink, mylar, lava lamps, wooden crates, branches, colored pencils, wood, silk and glitter…the materials become characters that reflect a dream-like landscape that we are physically placed within. Life Raft is accompanied by a collaborative soundtrack between Brennan and JD Walsh of Shy Layers.
Brennan’s own language for making paintings starts with a library of shapes, colors, and compositions. These core elements are universal to his experience of both painting and nature. He approaches abstraction in the same manner as he approaches the environment, knowing to expect the unexpected. Driven by a curiosity that includes both speculation and doubt this manifests into an art experience that conjures a feeling, a force, and a little unease.
The mise en scene of Life Raft is dense with heavily saturated, unearthly colors and textures juxtaposed to evoke a specific feeling of newness. Glue, paper, foam, popsicle sticks, other paintings, and glitter are adhered to the surfaces. Brennan culls from both fine art and craft supplies and fabrics, smaller paintings and objects are festooned directly to the surfaces of the paintings. Details of varying finish; texture and color modulate and take on more significance with repeated viewing. Brennan’s output is a continuous exercise in making and looking rather than the pursuit of a conclusion. He explores and investigates every idea, stumbling into chance and wonder, searching for unexpected outcomes.
Patrick Brennan was born in Syracuse, NY and currently lives and works in Ithaca. Recent solo exhibitions have been at Cornell University Ithaca, NY; Halsey McKay, East Hampton; Romer Young Gallery, San Francisco; Essex Flowers, New York; as well as group shows at MOMA / PS1, Galerie Lelong, Safe Gallery, Jack Hanley Gallery, Nicole Klagsbrun, Monya Rowe Gallery, Zieher Smith, Edward Thorpe, Artists Space and Clifton Benevento, New York; Cooper Cole, Toronto, and V1, Copenhagen, Denmark. He is recipient of the NYFA fellowship in painting, a founding member of Essex Flowers in New York City, and has been a visiting artist and lecturer to the US Embassy in Bahrain, Alfred University, Bennington College and others. Brennan is represented by Halsey McKay Gallery.
Courtesy of the artist and Halsey McKay Gallery, New York