Matthew Monahan, ‘BASHO’, 2014, TWO x TWO

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Two crumpled and torn sheets come together to form this wall-mounted mask by LA-based Matthew Monahan. Like many of Monahan’s works, Basho offers up a meditation on both the properties of materials and the psychological potential of the figure.

Two crumpled and torn sheets come together to form this wall-mounted mask by LA-based Matthew Monahan. Like many of Monahan’s works, Basho offers up a meditation on both the properties of materials and the psychological potential of the figure. Here, the work’s original material is lost as the piece is cast in bronze, leaving traces of texture and the screws that held it together. Named after Japanese poet Matsuo Basho – a master of haiku poetry during the Edo period – the work possesses the elegance, purity, and mystery of a poem. Monahan’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; and LA MoCA. His work was included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial, the 2006 Berlin Biennale, and the 2013 Venice Biennale, and is featured in the collections of Art Institute of Chicago; Bojimans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; LA MoCA; MoMA, New York; and Tate Modern, London.

gallery website: www.antonkerngallery.com

About Matthew Monahan

Throughout his career, the Los Angeles-based sculptor Matthew Monahan has stimulated vibrant critical discussion. His forms—variously carved, cast, or built-up from materials that range from wax and paper to bronze—suggest archaeological finds, decrepit remnants of civilizations past or future that may be regarded as lamentations or admonitions. Monahan’s works have an air of quietness and distance that is intentional—they are meant to encourage contemplation. As the artist has written of his sculptures: “They are remote and incomplete and need a careful observer in order to survive.”

American, b. 1972, Eureka, United States, based in Los Angeles, California