May 25th – June 19th, 2021
Nino Mier Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of selected works by Brooklyn-based artist, Justin Matherly on view in the gallery’s 1107 Greenacre Avenue space from May 25th through June 19th, 2021.
Recontextualizing semiotics of the art historical canon, three sculptures selected for the project, joined by two recent collages, stand as totems of Matherly’s practice. Matherly’s figures, primarily referencing antique and classical iconography, serve to exaggerate and distort their source material while simultaneously reviving these ancient symbols in conjunction with mundane or disregarded objects. Each of Matherly’s assembled composites presents an anachronistic juxtaposition that reconsiders the disparate connotations between the foundational aesthetics of Western ideologies compared to the functional technological innovations supporting them. Formed from common construction materials, such as gypsum and concrete, and often standing with the aid of readymade ambulatory equipment as scaffolding, the sculptures demonstrate a higher degree of transparency regarding their own construction than their historical parallels. Deliberate damage resulting in sculptures with missing limbs and perforations exposing hollow interiors allude to bodily trauma and inescapable physical decay. Matherly’s fragmented figuration, delineated by unrefined contours and crude drapery, discloses evidence of the artist’s hand while conveying a sense of both humility and humor in contrast to the more nuanced but equally contrived classical conventions employed by ancient Greco-Romans to mask the perception of similar propping devices and utilization of industrial building materials.
Justin Matherly (b. 1972 in West Islip, New York; lives and works in Brooklyn, New York) received his BFA from the University of Pennsylvania and his MFA from Hunter College, NY. Matherly’s work has been included in exhibitions organized by Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich, CH; Park De Oude Warande, NL; Skulptur Projekte Münster, DE; Vienna Secession, AT; the Pinault Collection at La Conciergerie, Paris, FR; König Galerie, Berlin, DE; and SculptureCenter, New York, NY. His work is included in museums and private collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC; the Saatchi Collection, London, UK; the Boros Collection, Berlin, DE; and the Helga de Alvear Foundation Cáceres, ES.