Jonathan Monk: Bringing Truth to Light

P H I L L I P S
Mar 4, 2013 11:22PM

With its concentric rings of red fluorescent lights, Sentence Removed (Emphasis Remains), 2000 by Jonathan Monk takes its form from Bruce Nauman’s seminal work, The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths. Through his use of neon, Nauman advertises his text like storefront signage, infusing commercial irony into the mock seriousness of the message. Using language as an artistic tool to profess meaning, Nauman calls into question subjective notions of intention through this witty and deliberate poetic spiral.

Sentence Removed (Emphasis Remains)
, is defined by its similar use of neon, tubes manipulated into in a spiral shape, this time contained behind impervious Plexiglas. Monk takes Nauman’s examination of the ordinary one step further, using it as the foundation of his own tongue-in-cheek statement. Monk alludes to what is present and absent, visible and invisible, seen and unseen.

Monk both reflects and emits the message - The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths – in his decisive choice to create Nauman’s renowned spiral of red neon without the indigo words which line the concentric curves. In the flickering amber lights of Sentence Removed (Emphasis Remains), only the ghost of Nauman’s work lingers in the bends.

Sentence Removed (Emphasis Remains) will be offered in our Under the Influence Contemporary Art sale, 8 March 2013, in New York.

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