"Matthew Monahan’s work presents a futuristic archaeology. Drawing from a wide range of influences, from Modernist art to ancient totems, Monahan’s ‘artefacts’ are both familiar and strange. Filtering historical mythologies through his own personal system of reference, altered further through the experience of making, Monahan’s work alludes to a contemporary spirituality, where beauty and brutality coalesce as virtual monuments. In Riker’s Island, Monahan adorns his vitrine with hand-crafted ‘relics’. Nondescript and clunky, their plausible function is secondary to their materiality: wax, paper, and plaster take on barbaric forms, their temporal media humorously suggesting timelessness. Their precious value is guarded by an over-sized sculptural ‘shard’: a monolithic goddess modernised and flat-packed in 2 dimensional card. Through his assemblages, Monahan offers a dark mysticism, where material trickery and abstracted form resurrect forgotten primal instincts." ...
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Born in Eureka, CA, USA, 1972
Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA, USA
1990-1994 Cooper Union School of Art, New York; and Gerit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam
Matthew Monahan (born 1972, Eureka, California) is a United States artist based in Los Angeles. He is represented by Anton Kern Gallery in New York, Stuart Shave/Modern Art London, and Fons Welters in Amsterdam. Monahan studied at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam.
Monahan has shown his sculptures at various galleries, collections, and museums, including the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Chinese European Art Center in Xiamen, Bureau Stedelijk in Amsterdam, The National Center for Art in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Royal Academy and the Saatchi Gallery in London, and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, The Stedelijk Museum and the Fries Museum, all in the Netherlands.
In 1999, Monahan participated in both the Liverpool and LA International Biennials.