Faldbakken’s practice holds in perpetual tension the forces of proposition and cancellation, vandalism and erasure, aesthetic generosity and conceptual restraint, the possibility of language and its abstraction into illegibility. A consistent characteristic of his work is the poverty of his materials, using framed garbage bags and flattened cardboard boxes as the ground for abstract or minimal gestures. The marks on the surface of these works sometimes appear not within the frame but on the surface of the glass and the edges of the frame itself. Smudged and erased, they propose a mark and its effacement in a single gesture. Mass-produced objects designed to contain form the basis of his recent sculptural works. Jerry cans, silencers, bags, lockers, bottles, books, VHS cassettes, cardboard boxes and more are subjected to various manipulations and often rendered useless: stacked, crushed, flattened, painted, cut, everted, spilling their contents, becoming their own content, the objects he adapts often veer between the iconic and the almost painfully generic.
Simon Lee Gallery New York is pleased to present Black Feast, an exhibition of works that emerge from experiences of anxiety, protest and trauma, both direct and mediated. Through a wide range of voices, the exhibition will explore parallels between disparate communities and their relationships to personal and collective trauma. The works within Black Feast showcase how an individual’s subjectivity is shaped not only in times of palpable crisis, but also amidst the unseeing violence of passive complacency. Either arising in explicit reaction or illustrative of psychological unrest, an artist’s work can carry a collective sense of emergency.
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.
Simon Lee Gallery is proud to present Elective Affinities, an exhibition which brings together a group of sculptures which share an interest in narrative and prioritise content, reference and resonance over pure form. Proposing an alternative to the drive toward abstraction and the evacuation of content, the works in this exhibition insist on their relationships to their sources and antecedents and combine physical transformation with continuity of meaning. Whether through performance or materiality, as replicas or relics, they force the recognition of the ideas and processes by which they are made.
Walk The Line
Matias Faldbakken SACKS/TRUNKS
Matias Faldbakken Maintenance
Rebus curated by Mario Codognato Vedovamazzei, John M Armleder, Mircea Cantor, Merlin Carpenter, Matias Faldbakken, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Sherrie Levine, Sislej Xhafa, Heimo Zobernig
Almost 100 years after Duchamp's urinal and after Puni hung a hammer on one of his canvases, rebus considers the recontextualization and re-appropriation of daily use objects or images as an effective practice for delivering a subversive and critical message.
The use of industrially manufactured items rather than handmade goods or, as in the tradition of art, of objects, surfaces and photographic images made directly by the artist, represents a method and a system which in waves is ever present through the last Century to the present day. The object in question can be presented by itself, assembled with other objects, incorporated into a “traditional” painting or sculpture, manipulated, distorted, or framed within a purpose-made structure. In all these cases and any other variation, it is the context of the exhibition space which above all causes the work to be seen, enjoyed and consumed as a work of art.