Paintings That Creep around Corners
Landon Metz might best be described as a conceptual painter. Lately, the twentysomething artist has been setting abstract shapes loose from the confines of the canvas and incorporating the entire gallery space—including gallerygoers—into his site-specific paintings. A suite of these works, reflecting a new approach for Metz, is currently on view at Copenhagen’s Andersen’s Contemporary in a solo exhibition titled “oh oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh.”
Metz’s new works take the form of grandly scaled, shaped canvases, each one stained a deep indigo. Mirroring the abstract forms that appear in his earlier paintings, these canvases look like elongated lozenges, squared off at one end and with irregular edges. They are affixed directly onto the gallery’s walls, and often wrap around doorways and corners, as if they’re hugging the room.
The series stems from the artist’s effort to make the medium of painting more interactive and experiential, and to integrate it into the surrounding environment. Considering the whitewashed, boxy nature of contemporary gallery spaces, Metz began by posing a question: “How can these walls and the movement of a person navigating through the exhibition become part of the work?”
Without viewers, in fact, his installed paintings would be incomplete. “With this new work, I’m really acknowledging the viewing experience as part of the creative process, rather than this culminating gesture that comes after the fact,” Metz has explained. “As the artist, I’m part of it, of course … but I also accept that if the work has any value, it’s going to lie in the viewer’s perception rather than my own expectations.”