Milan / September 17 —November 13, 2010


On September 17th 2010 Galleria Massimo De Carlo will open the first Italian solo exhibition of Matthew Monahan’s works. The Los Angeles-based artist will exhibit five sculptures, some collages and a series of oil-on-paper works.

Matthew Monahan draws inspiration for his sculptures from the rules of imagery. He thus manages to overcome the arbitrariness of abstract art and focus on developing a personal style that distorts the human figure and crystallizes it inside different forms and materials, such as paper, bronze, steel, and polystyrene. When creating his works, he doesn’t use photos, screenings, or real-life models: the artist shapes what his imagination suggests to him, fitting in with the contemporary art landscape and yet drawing inspiration from Classic art. His sculptures remind of the Ancient East religious art, and fill the observer with the awe people must have felt in the past when looking at those imposing and majestic, yet mysterious and remote works of primitive art, conveying the same idea of suspended time, of a fascinating yet frightening world. It is an unreal world, built out of suggestions and ideas, and Matthew Monahan decides to put it on a pedestal, wishing to build a bridge between art and life, and at the same time stressing the unbridgeable distance between them.

Matthew Monahan’s works on paper take this personal investigation even further, rendering the three dimensions of his sculptures into the two dimensions of paper. The act of deconstructing and reconstructing in his collage, research, and most of all his oil-on-paper technique, which imitates the aesthetics of cave painting, are all parts of an unreal world which is both primordial and timeless.

Born in California in 1972, Matthew Monahan currently lives and works in Los Angeles. His works are featured in collections at the MOCA in Los Angeles, the MoMA in New York, the Tate Modern in London, and the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam. In 2007 the Los Angeles MOCA organized a solo exhibition of his works. He took part in the 7th Gwangju Biennial (2008), the 4th Berlin Biennial (2006), and the 2006 Whitney Biennial. He also took part in the collective exhibitions Life on Mars. The 55th Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh (2008), Unmonumental at the New Museum in New York (2007), and USA Today at the Royal Academy of Arts & Saatchi Gallery in London (2006). On September 15th he opened his solo exhibition Mineral Spirits at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Phliadelphia, and his works are featured in the collective exhibition STATUESQUE at the City Hall Park in New York, which was opened on June 2nd and will close on December 3rd 2010.