Half Empty: Dan Finsel, Naotaka Hiro, Mateo Tannatt
Installation view

January 18 - February 22, 2015

Brennan & Griffin is pleased to present Half Empty an exhibition of works by Dan Finsel, Naotaka Hiro, and Mateo Tannatt. 

Each artist in the exhibition shares a common sensibility in their approach to art making. Utilizing a diverse and multi-disciplinary approach to engage the production of artworks as a means to examine the most immediate sources at hand: the body and the studio as subject matter and material.

In E-thay Inward-yay Ourney-jay: Ecoming-bay art-pay of-yay e-thay amily-fay (ix-say) (2013), a large, photographic work by Finsel, the artist utilizes his body as material, structure, and surface. Finsel developed a personal symbology while performing exercises described in The Inward Journey / Art as Therapy for You by Margaret Frings Keyes (1974), a book found in his parents' collection.  In the image, the artist is posed on a drop-leaf table-top/pedestal activating a symmetrical arrangement of clay forms.  The body, painted in the design pattern similar to the one utilized on the cover of The Inward Journey, becomes both sculptural element and the psychological content of his still-life/self-portrait. 

Naotaka Hiro's wall sculpture Untitled (Mocap) (2014) employs a method of self-casting his body that has been utilized to similar effect in his sculptural works.  Applying palm-sized pieces of heated wax against the frontal part his body from head to toe, Hiro maps a path along the body in a series of molds.  Each casted bronze object, 58 pieces in total, has the body surface imprinted on one side and fingers/palm on the other. These are linked by a single threaded rope, bundled up, displaced and re-arranged. The original placements, illustrated in a diagrammatic, figurative drawing is made to the scale of the artist's body.  
Mateo Tannatt's contribution to the exhibition is an evolving artwork that will be added to and subtracted from throughout the course of the exhibition.  The starting point for this piece is a mixed-media sculpture that combines a painted canvas, rag, and a cast chicken head positioned on a wooden pallet.  Delicately crafted elements are situated with the more utilitarian materials necessary for and resulting from the production of artworks, the work begins in this iteration as a bit of a macabre and weighted illusion.  As the exhibition progresses, new works added to the installation will tie and untie themselves to and from this starting point.  The importance of the initial presented work is eschewed along with the notion of it having a fixed site or occasion for prolonged viewing through its exhibition.  This piece extends the artist's understanding of the studio as a inherently mutable in its capacity as site and source for the making and staging of artworks and their finitude as they come and go.


Dan Finsel recently held a solo exhibition at CAPC Musée d’art Contemporain, Bordeaux, France in 2014; the same year, he was included in group exhibitions at Kent Fine Art, New York and Francois Ghebaly, Los Angeles; and in 2013 he was included in a group exhibition at Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne, France. Finsel also held a solo exhibition at Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, Texas, and was included in “Made in L.A.” at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles in 2012. Finsel lives and works in Los Angeles.

Naotaka Hiro's work was recently exhibited in Men in LA: Three Generations of Drawers with Paul McCarthy and Benjamin Weismann at the Box, Los Angeles.  He has mounted solo exhibitions at The Box, Los Angeles, Misako & Rosen and Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, Hiro's work has been included in screenings and group exhibitions at The Tate Modern, London, Prague Biennial 1, Prague, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo among others. Hiro lives and works in Los Angeles.

Mateo Tannatt has mounted solo exhibitions at Marc Foxx (2013, 2012, 2010). His work has been exhibited in “More Young Americans”, L’Enclos des Bernardins - Hôtel de Miramion, Paris, curated by Marc-Olivier Wahler, “When Attitudes Became Form Become Attitudes”, CCA Wattis, San Francisco, curated by Jens Hoffman, “First Among Equals”, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Philadelphia, curated by Alex Klein and Kate Kraczon and “All of This and Nothing”, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, curated by Douglas Fogle and Anne Ellegood. Tannatt conceived special works for Frieze Projects, New York (2013), “Alan Kaprow Push and Pull, Reinvention”, ArtParcours, Art Basel (2012), and “Pity City Ballet”, Performa 11, New York (2011). In 2008, Tannatt was the recipient of the Illy Prize for Emerging Art.  Tannatt lives and works in Los Angeles.