Rome, February 2016 - The National Roman Museum in Palazzo Altemps from Wednesday 6 April to Sunday 15 May 2016 opens to the public the exhibition Matthew Monahan, curated by Ludovico Pratesi.
The exhibition by the Californian sculptor Matthew Monahan (1972, Eureka, United States) presents a body of 8 sculptures all specially designed for the occasion. The works, inserted in the context of the exception of the ancient Renaissance palace and its permanent collection, propose a contemporary path, suggesting a reflection on the forms, the iconographies and myths of classicism thanks to the contamination with the art of our time: a dialogue and a comparison between contemporaneity and classicism that stimulates a new vision of the past, of the present and invites us to imagine the future.
Monahan's research develops around the idea of sculpture as a sort of contemporary ruin, where the materials, the archaeological suggestions and the memory of classicism take on a transitory aspect, transforming into suggestive wrecks hovering over time. The artist draws heavily in a tank of very large images, ranging from classic to science fiction, to combine iconic elements, seemingly distant, in an alienating but highly suggestive.
"It seemed necessary to locate all my aspirations on the figure, to ask her to become the conductor of all transcendental and profane things. The hand-made body is actually already composed of two bodies enclosed in a perverse doubling of the artist's body, which attempts to multiply and transform itself through cultures and genres, "says the artist.
The bronze sculptures of Monahan resonate with the architectural structure of Palazzo Altemps and with the collections of ancient sculpture that are preserved there, going to occupy spaces that the artist perceives as empty along the path of visiting the Museum. Each sculpture has been conceived by the artist in relation to the works and the decorative apparatus of the museum hall where it will be exhibited, with the aim of suggesting new interpretative and semantic solutions that found and complement each other's works so different.
The staff of Matthew Monahan will develop from the courtyard on the ground floor to the monumental rooms on the first floor: masks, warriors and pagan divinities reinterpreted in a contemporary key will be accompanied by a series of drawings by the artist, framed in imitation of the museum's captions , creating a synergistic fusion with the museum institution.
The exhibition aims to bring contemporary art lovers closer to the traditional audience of the archaeological museum: in this context two meetings will be organized on the theme of the relationship between classicism and contemporary. The meetings, coordinated by the curator Ludovico Pratesi, will see the participation of artists and art historians.
The exhibition is accompanied by a free pocket publication, edited by Ludovico Pratesi in collaboration with the artist.
The exhibition is organized by the Galleria Massimo De Carlo, Milan / London / Hong Kong.
For the press the exhibition will be open on April 5th from 11.30 to 13.30, in the presence of the artist Matthew Monahan and the curator Ludovico Pratesi.
In the exhibition on Wednesday 13 April, from 1930 to 21, the meeting will be held in the Galata Hall of Palazzo Altemps: POINTS OF VIEW: ARCHEOLOGY AND CONTEMPORARY ART, with the participation of Alfredo Pirri (artist) and Cristiana Perrella (historian of art) .Modera Ludovico Pratesi
The second meeting will be held in the second week of May.
We thank the Superintendent, Architect Francesco Prosperetti and the Director of the Museum, Alessandra Capodiferro for having accepted the project.
For the Museum the project is coordinated by Daniele Fortuna.
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Born in 1972 in Eureka, California, Matthew Monahan lives and works in Los Angeles. He exhibited his works at the latest edition of the Venice Biennale, at the Encyclopedic Palace at the invitation of Massimiliano Gioni in 2013 and in several museums, including the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, The National Center for Art in Saint Petersburg, Royal Academy and the Saatchi Gallery in London, the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.