The works in the show come from four separate projects. The projects are listed below, followed by the number of works on view and the image details:
- Honeybees: 6 gum bichromate with honeybees prints on paper, framed in white with no mat, sized either 59x100 or 59x40, unique, from 2012
- Trees: 50 charcoal silkscreen prints with wood from George Bush Park, Texas, on handmade paper, framed in blond wood with no mat, each sized 19x13, in editions of 3, from 2009-2011
- Lakes and Reservoirs: 4 chromogenic prints soaked in lake water, framed in white with no mat, each sized 72x105, unique, from 2008-2011
- Taste Tests in Color: 1 silkscreen with blue, red, yellow, and purple Gummy Bears on paper, framed in white with no mat, sized 40x30, unique, from 2012
Brandt's images of swarms of bees made with real crushed up bee bodies mixed into the gum bichromate emulsion create gee whiz, open eyed astonishment when you really get up close. The bulbous forms of the insect body parts sit on top of the paper like they were meticulously glued in place one by one, giving the print a kind of bumpy topography. The problem is that from afar, it's hard to see much more than tiny black dots against a huge sheet of white. Brandt's images of trees also suffer from some compositional weakness; the paper made from wood and the ink made from charcoal provide the unusual physical connection to the trees, but I found the repeated deadpan images in shades of dirty brown to fade into a dull typological blur after the first dozen or so. The one work made out of Gummy Bears just felt too much like a gimmick to take very seriously.
All in, while this show is a bit uneven, there is plenty of evidence that Brandt has a surplus of original ideas. If he can match his novel process innovations with increasingly sophisticated and refined image making as he goes forward, he certainly has the potential to show us something durably new.
- Honeybees: $16000 or $22000 based on size
- Trees: $5000 each
- Lakes and Reservoirs: all sold
- Taste Tests in Color: $5800
- Artist site (here)
- Reviews/Features: New Yorker (here), Time LightBox (here), New Yorker PhotoBooth (here), DART (here), Daily Beast (here)