Installation Views

This is an installation view of the exhibition by artist Matthew Monahan in 2010 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.This is an installation view of the exhibition by artist Matthew Monahan in 2010 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.This is an installation view of the exhibition by artist Matthew Monahan in 2010 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.This is an installation view of the exhibition by artist Matthew Monahan in 2010 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.This is an installation view of the exhibition by artist Matthew Monahan in 2010 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.This is an installation view of the exhibition by artist Matthew Monahan in 2010 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.This is an installation view of the exhibition by artist Matthew Monahan in 2010 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.This is an installation view of the exhibition by artist Matthew Monahan in 2010 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.This is an installation view of the exhibition by artist Matthew Monahan in 2010 at Anton Kern Gallery, New York.
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Works

This is a work titled Body Electric (Schlemmer Arc) by artist Matthew Monahan made in 2010. The materials are oil on museum board, and the dimensions are 40 inches by 32 inchesThis is a work titled Body Electric (Transmission) by artist Matthew Monahan made in 2010. The materials are Oil on lithography paper, and the dimensions are 26 inches by 40 inches.This is a work titled (Sub)Mariner by artist Matthew Monahan made in 2010. The materials are bronze, and the dimensions are 115 inches by 28 inches by 16 inches.This is a work titled Cape n' Beard by artist Matthew Monahan made in 2010. The materials are Bronze, patina, wax, stainless steel and brick, and the dimensions are 46.25 inches by 20 inches by 16.5 inches.This is a work titled Young Nitrate by artist Matthew Monahan made in 2010. The materials are Bronze, patina, wax, aluminum and brick, and the dimensions are 74.5 inches by 19.5 inches by 10 inches.This is a work titled Seppuku by artist Matthew Monahan made in 2010. The materials are Bronze, patina, wax, stainless steel, aluminum and ceramic shell, and the dimensions are 93.25 inches by 24.5 inches by 15 inches.This is a work titled Stainless Lingam by artist Matthew Monahan made in 2010. The materials are BGold and silver leaf, aluminum, photocopy toner on urethane and polished stainless steel, and the dimensions are 50.5 inches by 15 inches by 22 inches.This is a work titled Chopper's Watch by artist Matthew Monahan made in 2010. The materials are Bronze, 23.5 karat gold gilded and brick, and the dimensions are 83.5 inches by 21.75 inches by 23.5 inches.This is a work titled Buck Skin Signal by artist Matthew Monahan made in 2010. The materials are Bronze, patina, wax, aluminum and stainless steel, and the dimensions are 75.5 inches by 35 inches by 21 inches.This is a work titled Lady barb by artist Matthew Monahan made in 2010. The materials are Bronze, patina, wax, polished bronze, stainless steel and nickel wire, and the dimensions are 82.25 inches by 23 inches by 18.75 inches.

Press Release

Matthew Monahan
November 5 –
December 23, 2010

November 5, 2010, New York – For his fifth solo exhibition at Anton Kern Gallery, Los Angeles-based artist Matthew Monahan will show a combination of new sculpture and drawings. His aggressive but elegant sculptural works, cast in different materials including foam and bronze, manipulate the figure to challenge what we associate with a classical representation of the human body.

 

Nine tall figurative metal sculptures and ten oil-on-paper drawings animate the space. Striving for a less fragmented and more unified form, the sculptures lay emphasis on the relationship between figure and base. Each pedestal is tailored for each piece, and the two registers, the upper and lower halves, accentuate the tension between metal and masonry. All materials share one quality: they change appearance, properties, and color based on their mineral contents and their firing temperature. Monahan seems to emulate a proto-scientific, or alchemist approach to his materials. In their pursuit of turning common metals into gold, the old alchemists developed the science of understanding, deconstructing, and reconstructing matter, and along the way discovered the process of plating and the transmutation of metals.

 

To Monahan, the choice of bronze comes as a plausible step after having worked with wax and different melting processes, as well as bending, molding, and casting in a variety of materials for many years. However, Monahan decreases the “nobility” of bronze, he makes us feel the heat of the flame, the fire and violence of the furnace, the pummeling, hammering, and cracking sounds of the foundry. All the noise still reverberates in the sculptures. These material qualities can be extended to the psychology and symbolism of the work. Under the durable shell of metal hides the thinness, hollowness and fragility of the figure. The figures make themselves more durable and perhaps larger-than-life, in the ancient alchemist way, and - in their slight tendency towards architectural futurism and science fiction - the figures echo the creaking metal sounds of old monster movies or Ray Harryhausenʼs metal giants.

 

The alchemy of the metal works extends to Monahanʼs new oil on paper drawings. The paper is coated with two layers of paint, then folded and drawn on from the back with a fork, pressing through the line that depicts an off-kilter Vitruvian Man floating in a dark space. In fact, it is Monahanʼs long practice as a draftsman, his obsession with the treatment of surface, and his interest in shared tonalities of disparate materials that have informed his approach to the metal surface and become the source for his bronze casting. Monahan has always used his drawings as foundations for sculpting by turning planar things into volume. Bronze is a skin; a skin that is first poured into sheets of wax, cast in metal, and then folded or shaped into the human figure.

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