Installation Views

Akg 2018 matthewmonahan frnmez f1 02 1400 0x0x3000x2000 q85Akg 2018 matthewmonahan frnmez f1 03 1400 0x0x3000x2000 q85Akg 2018 matthewmonahan frnmez f1 04 1400 0x624x2000x1333 q85Akg 2018 matthewmonahan frnmez f1 05 1400 0x300x2000x1333 q85Akg 2018 matthewmonahan frnmez f1 07 1400 0x0x3000x1999 q85Akg 2018 matthewmonahan frnmez f1 10 1400 0x0x3000x2000 q85Akg 2018 matthewmonahan frnmez f1 11 1400 0x0x3000x2000 q85Akg 2018 matthewmonahan frnmez f1 12 1400 0x586x2000x1333 q85Akg 2018 matthewmonahan frnmez f2 13 1400 0x0x3000x2000 q85
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Works

Ak15246 mon dronevstone 1400 122x70x1739x1163 q85Ak15247 mon cycloneunlawfulassemly 1400 78x100x1661x1111 q85Ak15245 mon mixtape 3 1400 117x100x1704x1137 q85Ak15248 mon 1400 100x87x1752x1172 q85Ak15308 mon young meme after petrus christus 1400 196x118x1587x1059 q85Ak15075 mon cryptoqueen 1 1400 0x58x1333x890 q85Ak15075 mon sidekickandme 1 1400 0x43x1333x890 q85Ak15074 mon ghostboxhownottopanicwhenyouremadeintoaghost 1 1400 0x46x1333x890 q85Ak15073 mon chamberquartetvexation 1 1400 0x180x1333x890 q85Ak15072 mon themoonladder 1 1400 0x67x1333x890 q85Ak15071 mon badactors 4 1400 0x0x1993x1333 q85Ak15240 mon triad 1400 0x528x2144x1431 q85

Press Release

frNMEz
September 12 –
October 20, 2018

In frNMEz, Los Angeles-based artist Matthew Monahan presents a new group of freestanding sculptures and paintings on aluminum. Known for his mastery of both traditional and industrial materials, Monahan’s new works reflect a physical and mental tug of war with the history of figuration. For this show Monahan pushes beyond the individual icon, populating his works with unruly masses and subjecting his figures to an intractable struggle. Rendered primarily in black and white, the viewer is forced to zoom in and out across a pixelated optical field, where sculpture and painting overlap and crossfade.

 

Monahan carves his forms from standardized rectangular blocks, then slashes them into fragments, with torsos, limbs, and skulls repositioned to reanimate the whole. The bodies, caught in states of conflict and embrace, recall classical motifs of stone statuary. While quoting from the formal language of classical sculpture, Monahan inserts an element of sci-fi mystery, untethering his objects from their exact moment in time. Like relics found in a possible future, the sculptures are enclosed within perforated aluminum chambers that eschew the traditional relationship between the sculpture and its pedestal. The quality of the aluminum structures suggests the utilitarian blankness of server farm shelving, and the dissonance between these enclosures and the forms housed within flatten the view of the object, and at times cause the forms to disperse and disappear entirely. The black screens encrypt the figure-ground relationship and undercut their sculptural qualities in favor of a virtualized, private space.      

 

Monahan’s paintings echo this visual ambiguity and physical tension. Constructed from sheets of glossy white painted aluminum, the artist inscribes, collages, etches and sprays the surface with layers of grayscale to create chaotic multi-figure compositions. Stripped of any context provided by facial expressions or landscape, we are left to wonder whether the frenetic energy is one of celebration or outrage.

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