Minus Space is thrilled to present the solo exhibition Sharon Brant: Plenty. This is the Beacon, New York-based artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery and it will present a suite of recent geometric paintings on linen.
For more than five decades, Sharon Brant has produced conceptually and aesthetically rigorous hard-edged paintings and works on paper. Her work is relentlessly spare, yet materially abundant, often consisting of no more than one or two fundamental shapes articulated in unexpected ways. Complementing her studio work, Brant has also practiced meditation since the late 1980s, which has had an immeasurable impact on the approach she takes in her studio and the work she ultimately produces.
For her solo exhibition Plenty, Brant refines and advances the strategies that have informed her work for decades. Her new paintings present few visual elements – two stacked, horizontal rectangles of differing heights and colors that are centered and aligned at the very top edge of a horizontal, panoramic canvas. The remaining areas of the paintings are left as exposed, woven linen. Brant’s new paintings elicit a sublime sense of emptiness, yet radiate with an ineffable presence and energy. Rendered in mostly subdued, unsaturated colors, such as white, pink, yellow, gray, and silver, her paintings present a striking visual clarity intended to center the mind and achieve emotional tranquility in the viewer.
About her ongoing studio practice, Brant states, “I want to mystify myself. I want to look at my own drawing or painting and say – what is that? – and feel mystified by it. I ask myself as I paint – what is a painting? Optically and psychologically it evokes a feeling as I view it. There may appear an implied illusionism of space, but it is the emotional space I want to enter, a pause from the world.” Regarding her new paintings included in this exhibition, Brant continues, “It’s a picture of the space that artists go to when creating their work. It’s a picture of the source.”
Sharon Brant has exhibited her work internationally for the past five decades, including in Europe, Australasia, Mexico, and the United States. Brant mounted the well-received solo exhibition Sideswiped here at the gallery in 2012. She was also included in our recent group exhibitions Brant / Brennan / Zinsser in 2016, and MINUS SPACE en Oaxaca: Panorama de 31 artistas internacionales at the Instituto de Artes Gráficas de Oaxaca Alcalá in Oaxaca, Mexico in 2012. Brant has exhibited her work at museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA PS1, Rochester Museum, Everson Museum of Art, and Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, among many others.
Brant studied at the Kansas City Art Institute in Missouri from 1962-1965 and moved permanently to New York City in 1966. Her work was included several years later in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Painting Annual in 1972. She exhibited regularly with OK Harris (solo exhibitions 1970, 1972), A.I.R. Gallery (solo exhibitions 1989, 1991, 1994, 1996), and Elizabeth Moore Fine Art (solo exhibitions 2007, 2011).
In 1968, Brant was one of eight founding members, along with Arthur Hughes, Gary Smith, and Robert Resnick, of MUSEUM, A Project of Living Artists, an artist-run exhibition and meeting space located at 729 Broadway in New York City. MUSEUM was intended as a politically-progressive community center for artists with the goal of supporting “a more alive connection between art and society, without the dissipation of force and quality occurring so frequently in the current art establishment.” MUSEUM’s membership grew to more than 300 individuals before it closed in 1971.
Brant was a member of A.I.R. Gallery from 1989-1996, the first artist-run gallery for women in the United States founded in 1972. She has been a member of American Abstract Artists since 2004. In 2012, Brant was awarded a grant from the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, ARTnews, Art International, Arts Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, and The New York Times, among many other publications.