JAN 14 – FEB 25, 2017
We are happy to announce AnObjectAnImage, Matt Lipps' first solo show at KLEMM'S.
For over ten years, critical examination of images already widely adopted by society has been at the core of Matt Lipps' artistic practice. Since he uses greatly varying approaches — such as working with sculptural tropes, with collage, or by applying the mis-en-scène of the theater — the artist negotiates both the history as well as the politics of cultural dynamics.
In AnObjectAnImage Lipps shows his newest series of works, Looking Through Pictures, in which he examines still life photography as a theatrically staged form of expression, whose realm he creates both through the performance of figures and objects, as well as through the application of specific photographic techniques.
In his work he manually assembles collages from reproductions of works to create visually complex layering. Enigmatic structures emerge, in which setting and "portrayer/portrayed" merge. The image elements intertwine, are staggered, cover each other up, or have to be imagined by the viewer. Supposedly abstract cutouts define the game of presence and absence, of familiar and confusing, and evoke — depending on which — emptiness or infinite possibilities. In this, the works consciously ask you to complete them and to reanimate them according to your own scripts. They stand as an analogy to the dynamic of contemporary image expertise, which operates daily with the levels of digital organization, and is confronted ongoingly with the order and orchestration of image material removed from its context.
Similarly to how the 'source material', which through it's reproduction becomes distorted and gets detached from their original context, so too do the individual adapted image elements in Matt Lipps' works. These multiple "separations" are accompanied by the dissolution tendencies around genre borders. Lipps stages the intuitively composed, complexly cut windows almost sculpturally in an indeterminate realm, which is neither able to contain the objects and actors nor provide them with a hold.
Aside from "negotiating" and treating the photographical, Lipps augments the cut up pages further with opaque pastel layers of paint. The soothing shades of pink, blue and lavender can be read as a confrontation with our own nostalgic fascination with history and ordering. "Rose Quartz" and the cool, light blue "Serenity" (announced as hybrid Colors of the Year 2016) pick up on a global Zeitgeist which, according to Pantone, corresponds to "consumers seeking for well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses." So, yesterday's radical avantgarde is, in ever shorter intervals, appropriated, and becomes an acceptable and polished formula. Lipps addresses this condition of the ahistorical – complete simultaneity and supposed equivalence of (image) information – in the arrangements of the sedimentary layers on his pictures.
Matt Lipps (b. 1975) received his MFA from University of California, Irvine in 2004. His works can be found in the collections of Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; The Saatchi Gallery, London; and The Pilara Foundation Collection/Pier 24, San Francisco. Recent solo exhibitons include 'Looking Through Pictures', Marc Selwyn Fine Arts, Los Angeles (2016); 'Library', Danziger Gallery, New York (2015); 'Figures', Art in General, New York, (2015); 'Special Problems', Josh Lilley Gallery, London, UK (2014) and 'The Populist Camera', Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco (2014). His work was a.o. included in SFMOMA's inaugural exhibition 'California and the West' (2016) as well as in 'Camera of Wonders', Centro de la Imágen, Mexico City, Mexico (2015); 'The Magic Medium', LACMA, Los Angeles (2015); 'Under Construction: New Positions in American Photography', Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY and Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Amsterdam (2014); Secondhand, Pier 24/The Pilara Foundation, San Francisco (2014). He lives and works in Los Angeles.