Michael Brennan

Michael Brennan: Razor Paintings

Michael Brennan: “Razor Paintings”

August 1 – 31, 2015

Press Release | Images | Essay | Résumé


Some Walls is pleased to present Michael Brennan’s “Razor Paintings,” August 1 – 31, 2015. This is a unique opportunity to view this New York artist’s work in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Michael Brennan’s monochromatic "Razor Paintings" are rich and complex. A field of flat paint coats the canvas, sometimes completely or patchily. The field is scraped or carved with a palette knife, a kind of drawing and defining that creates images of surprising and vivid form and movement. The knife strokes don’t simply create negative painted space, but also positive images. The shallow reliefs of paint and surface bring Egyptian relief sculpture to mind. Taped margins leave borders of white canvas that recall film stills and photographs. These borders heighten the force of the painted area, hold it to the surface and within the canvas edges, and add a layer of memory, desire, history. The smale size of the canvas keeps the viewer in close relationship. Architecture and atmosphere lurk and integrate and support; at one moment the image of a portrait appears and at the same time is a distant view city or mountain. Light and shadow reference film noir, horror films, Westerns.

In a statment accompanying his previous solo exhibition at Minus Space, New York, Brennan quoted Henri Michaux:

“I paint just as I write. To discover, to rediscover myself, to find what is truly mine, that which, unbeknown to me, has always belonged to me. To experience at once the surprise of it and the pleasure of recognizing it. To bring forth or bear witness to the appearance of a certain vagueness, a certain aura, where others would, or do, see fullness. To render an impression of ‘presence’ everywhere, to reveal (and first and foremost to myself), the tangles, the chaotic movement, the extreme ‘liveliness of I know not what’ which stirs in my remotest being and seeks a foothold on the shore. […]”
–Henri Michaux from Moments of Vision, 1959.

Brennan’s commnand of his material, his source material, and direct discovery of image through making bring us worlds of hautning ambiguity and poetic reflection.

See images and more information at Some Walls.

Michael Brennan works and lives in New York (web site). His most recent solo exhibition is "Grey Razor Paintings" at Minus Space.

To schedule a visit, or for more information, please contact Chris Ashley at info@somewalls.com.

Some Walls is a curatorial and writing art project founded in 2009 in a private home in Oakland, California. Some Walls is open by appointment only. View the exhibition online at somewalls.com.

Previous exhibitions at Some Walls:



Michael Brennan works and lives in New York (web site). His most recent solo exhibition is "Grey Razor Paintings" at Minus Space.