By Ari Wiseman
Published on the occasion of Matthew Monahan: Five Years, Ten Years, Maybe Never, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, July – October 2007.
Matthew Monahan (b. 1972, Eureka, CA) creates striking sculptures that are built from drawings, as well as fragments of smaller artworks made with disparate materials, including floral foam, beeswax, glitter, pins, Styrofoam, glass, and drywall. From these unlikely media, he builds freestanding, assemblaged sculptures within which hand-crafted characters—warriors, saints, slain heroes, and demons—seem to express heroic emotions ranging from jubilation to anguish. These figures serve as both icons and iconoclasts in a purposefully allusive narrative from a mysterious unidentified past epoch. Working simultaneously as both chronicle and summation of the artist’s creative processes, Monahan’s sculptures confront the formal issues inherent in figurative drawing and sculpture while addressing his artistic, personal, and political concerns. This MOCA Focus exhibition—Monahan’s debut solo museum presentation—brings together a decade of work never before exhibited in Los Angeles.
- MOCA, 2007
- Softcover, accordion-style with paper slipcover