Maynard Monrow: Still Life
February 13 – March 27, 2016
Opening Reception: Friday, February 12, 6 – 9 pm
Maynard Monrow’s recent body of work consists of conceptual, text-based reinventions of the still life/nature morte conventions of classical art. Informed by his interest in art history, critical theory, and culture, the series features bon mots and apothegms ranging in tone from the sardonic to the polemical. Playing off the staidness of traditional visual genres (a quality typically reflected in the titles of paintings, for example), the humor in Monrow’s work stems in part from an implied attempt to visualize abstract ideas, paradoxes, and malapropisms.
Ironically, this provocation of the imagination can foster a lyricism that feels true to the spirit of the conventions this series conceptually transforms. Contrasting a droll urbanity with earnest functionalism, these works are presented in a readymade industrial signage format (“café boards”) employing prefabricated plastic letters arrayed on corrugated felt. Each work is framed in hand-painted black wood for a formal finish. Monroe lives and works in Los Angeles.
Image: Maynard Monrow, Untitled / Umbrage, 2015, Mixed Media, 18 × 12 in.