Pictures from Wai’anae
SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2015
M+B Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
M+B is pleased to announce Pictures from Wai’anae, Matthew Brandt’s third solo exhibition at the gallery. The show marks the debut of a new series on the Hawaiian landscape that furthers Brandt’s formal and material consideration of the natural world. The exhibition runs from September 19 to October 31, 2015. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, September 19 from 6 to 8 pm.
For the past three years I have been taking photographs in Oahu. These printed photographs were rolled in dirt, leaves, burlap and lace and buried on a family farm in the town of Wai’anae. Over time, the elements of the Hawaiian earth changed these pictures. Presented in this exhibition are remains of this process.
This new body of work extends Brandt's interest in the meeting between the photographic subject and its material self, as first explored in his Lakes and Reservoirs series. Pressing beyond the pictorial depiction of the dense tropical rainforest, the images also bear the imprint of the actual site. In mixing with the soil, the picture surface erodes—areas are stripped of layers of emulsion, and new patterns are superimposed from the materials used to bury the prints.
Accompanying these works is a suite of watercolor palm tree prints. These new small-scale prints recall vintage travel postcards and focus on the singular image of the palm tree, that ubiquitous signifier of tropical paradise. Brandt repeats the motif in different iterations as a way to explore how color is presented through various photographic technologies. Working with the positive image and its negative inverse, each pair of hand-watercolored prints is processed through multiple methods, including silver gelatin and chromogenic printing.