"A few years ago I was in the elevator of a loft building somewhere on the west side with some people and we took it to the penthouse by accident and the doors opened to this giant apartment filled with nothing but the same painting of Michael Jackson over and over and over again." - Landon Metz
While continuing the artist's ongoing experiments with colored dyes poured onto unprimed canvas, this latest suite of paintings distinguishes itself from preceding series largely through its methodology: where Metz has to this point built up each body of work a canvas at a time, this most recent offering finds him for the first time thinking in terms of seriality, with sets of identically composed canvases mounted in self-contained groupings.
As is typical of Metz's output, the paintings on display are at once intricately designed and willfully unembellished; perhaps more than in any previous showings, Penthouse finds the artist embracing an extreme economy of form, with the seven sets of work sharing a mere two colors and four forms between them. This restrained vocabulary is offset, however, by a series of inventive installations. Arranging similar works into calculated formations and grids, Metz produces a series of fractured, repeating visual motifs whose spatial interactions produce a palpable sense of objecthood, the clustered works falling somewhere between painting and sculpture. In establishing these tentative visual dialogues, Metz flirts with notions of connection and separation, as the works' individual compositions are ultimately understood as being singular but correlated, their joint configurations - much like the resulting viewing experience itself - at once sequential and open-ended.
In exploring these new strategies, Metz confirms more literally what has long been a central idea within his broader practice: namely, that an artist's process might be self-generative, with strategies extended and refined through succeeding works. Though individual motifs may be set apart, they are at once defined and enhanced by their connection to a broader arrangement; though each given piece offers its own points of visual interest, it must be viewed in context, as part of a larger set, for its implications to be fully grasped. Simultaneously individual and interdependent, the work in Michael Jackson Penthouse thus reinforces the underlying notions of interconnectivity, relativity, and transparency that continue to drive his practice.
Landon Metz (born 1985) is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work has been widely exhibited both domestically and abroad, including last year's Venice Biennale. His monographs include ‘Painter Painting Surface,’ published by Vimmerby Rinkeby in 2012, and an as-yet-untitled volume to be published by Libraryman Press in spring 2014. He lives and works in New York City.
This exhibition, to be held in a row house located at 438 Carroll Street, is the first in a series of shows that Retrospective is planning for spaces throughout Hudson in addition to its storefront at 727 Warren St. It will run concurrently with a show of new works by Jason Middlebrook and Letha Wilson at the Warren St. location.
438 Carroll Street will be open Saturdays, 12-5pm, and by appointment.