Catamount Arts is pleased to present Dark Waters/Grateful Daughters, an exhibition of work by Boston painter Matt Brackett. On view in the main gallery from February 13-March 22, 2015, the exhibition will be the first show curated by newly appointed gallery director Katherine French. There will be a reception for the artist on Friday, February 20 from 5:30-7:30 pm. All are welcome to attend.
About the Exhibition
Dark Waters/Grateful Daughters tells a complicated story of self-doubt, mortal fear and artistic solace. Loss had been a common theme for the artist Matt Brackett, but the onset of serious illness brought him a host of unsettling images. Then with improving health, Brackett’s paintings revealed graphic evidence of his recovery—flowers emerging from once frozen ground during spring thaw.
The earliest paintings in Catamount Art’s current exhibition date from the economic uncertainty of 2008, which also coincided with the birth of Brackett’s first child. Following the death of his grandmother and loss of his family’s ancestral home, the painter welcomed childcare as a way of becoming engaged with a new generation. However, fewer hours in the studio resulted in the loss of creative time and Bracket struggled over this. Immersed in his daughter’s picture books, he began to see animals appear in stream-of-conscious drawings as bemused creatures trying to make sense of changing circumstance.
At first Brackett resisted animal metaphor, but a serious cancer diagnosis and birth of a second daughter caused him to embrace the menacing beasts who inhabited a landscape remarkably similar to that of his ancestral home. Yet, instead of finding comfort in this familiar setting, these animals were both threatened and threatening: sheep inexplicably threw themselves off cliffs; fish rose gasping for air; snakes twisted in agony on a deserted beach.
By the spring of 2013 Brackett was recovering from surgery and optimistic about his treatment. Walking his oldest daughter to school as the weather warmed, he was struck by budding trees and flowers beginning to emerge after winter. “It seemed sentimental to be moved by such familiar signs,” observed Brackett when “not long before I had wondered whether my life would last long enough for me to see my young daughters enter grade school.” Final works in the show are floral images painted using his daughters’ favorite colors, revealing a painter’s gratitude “for the universe’s astonishing generosity.”
About the Artist
Representational painter Matt Brackett graduated with a BA in painting from Yale University, studied at the Chautauqua Institution, and has held residencies at both Yaddo and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Exhibiting widely, Brackett has enjoyed solo exhibitions at Boston’s Alpha Gallery and Danforth Art, as well as group exhibitions at the Brattleboro Museum, the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, and the Yale University Art Gallery. He has been featured in New American Painting and is the recipient of numerous awards, including grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation; the Massachusetts Cultural Council; the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the George Sugarman Foundation. Brackett’s work appears in the permanent collections of Danforth Art and Wellington Management, as well as numerous private collections in England, Germany, India, and the United States. Brackett lives and works in Boston, MA and spends significant time in the winter near Stowe, Vermont.
For more information on the artist and his work, see www.mattbrackett.com.