Shifting between media, Marnie Weber’s multifaceted, interconnected practice encompasses performance, film, video, sculpture, collage, music and costume. Blending the carnivalesque, the bacchanalian, the mystical and the absurd, Weber creates uncanny worlds that exist in a realm between fantasy and reality, and invite viewers to an exploration of the subconscious. In her work, one finds hybrid creatures, sometimes realised in two dimensions, and others incorporating mannequins disguised in ornate costumes and masks. These function as contemporary grotesques in the spirit of Hieronymus Bosch, and place emphasis on unnatural bodies and surreal worlds. The darkness of Weber’s vision can be seen to lie in the precarious relationship between the parable, quasi-Wizard of Oz aesthetic and the overtly adult subject matter: sex, drugs and death.
Since the 1990s, several pictorial tropes have recurred with frequency in Weber’s works, most notably: the mythological anthropomorphising of animals and the relationship between animals and humans; appropriation and the re-contextualisation of images, which place women in positions of power and primacy; and the importance of the backdrop or milieu as a site of transformation and magic. Exploring the loss of innocence, the community of living things, spiritualism and the subconscious, Weber’s folkloric works present psychologically-charged, neo-gothic fairytales. Disorienting and mysterious, they elicit responses from viewers, which fluctuate between melancholy and delight, attraction and repulsion, humour and tragedy.
Marnie Weber & Justin John Greene
Simon Lee Gallery, New York, is pleased to present a two-person exhibition featuring the work of Los Angeles-based artists Marnie Weber and Justin John Greene. This occasion marks the first time Weber has exhibited at the gallery’s New York location, as well as the second time for Greene, whose work was previously included in the 2017 group exhibition An Uncanny Likeness.
The exhibition opens a dialogue between two artists of differing backgrounds and generational affiliations, who similarly interrogate latent aspects of the cultural imagination. Both deal in densely populated tableaus depicting archetypal figures engaged in surreal narratives, synthesizezing divergent aesthetic tropes into coherent, unified compositions. Weber draws her point of departure from Depression-era farm country, whereas the setting for Greene, is hyperactive, present-day Los Angeles. Both artists bring the gothic undercurrent resting just beneath the surface of American life to the fore.
Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present ‘Faux Amis’, a group exhibition that centres on the dialogue between the work of gallery artists and their chosen ‘false friend’.
For this, the first exhibition to cover both the ground and the new first floor spaces of the London gallery, Simon Lee Gallery artists are invited to exhibit alongside, and in dialogue with, the work of an artist of their choice which they find forges a relevant, interesting, distracting, misleading, or stimulating relationship with their own practice. The resultant selection of works not only highlights the interesting discourses that can exist between artists of divergent practices and generations, but also suggests new readings of the individual works on display.