Jonathan Monk "The Inflated Deflated"

Casey Kaplan

poster for Jonathan Monk "The Inflated Deflated"

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Casey Kaplan presents new work by artist, Jonathan Monk (b. 1969 in Leicester, England, lives and works in Berlin), in his sixth solo exhibition with the gallery, The Inflated Deflated. Previously, Monk has taken on artists such as John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Sol LeWitt, Ed Ruscha, and Lawrence Weiner, as source material for his own artwork. For this exhibition, Monk turns his attention to the artist, Jeff Koons. By employing his own intrinsic artistic strategies, appropriation and recontextualization, Monk presents an exhibition that appends art history with a narrative of his own interplay between the objects and the ideas of the past and his newly conceived reincarnations.

In the late 1980’s, while Jonathan Monk began art school in Glasgow, Scotland, Jeff Koons created a highly polished stainless steel cast of an inflated, plastic bunny shaped balloon, entitled “Rabbit”, 1986. The sculpture debuted that same year in the seminal Group Show at the Ileana Sonnabend Gallery in New York. “Rabbit” has become an icon of its era. Utilizing a similar inflatable carrot carrying plastic toy bunny as a starting point, Monk presents his own version of Koons’ infamous work in a sequence of five different posed sculptures. Monk’s stainless steel bunnies capture five frozen moments of silent, animated, slow deflation. With each dissipation of air, the mirrored bunny droops, folds, and gently falls from a standing position to a reclined figure. If seen as a sequence, the sculpture ultimately comes to rest in a low, undulating heap of metal, recalling one of Henry Moore’s classic bronze reclining nudes.

Surrounding the five sculptures are five photorealist style paintings that depict various stages of the fabrication process of Monk’s bunny sculptures from the clay moulds to welding of steel. Through the paintings, Monk demystifies the process of the creation of his own artworks as a conceptual component to the exhibition.

In Gallery III, the exhibition transitions from balloons losing their air to light bulbs that gradually burn out and go dark. Monk additionally presents four wall-based, light bulb artworks entitled, “The Death of Geometric figures” (circle, square, rectangle, and triangle). Each of the geometric signs is a mirror surrounded by ceramic white light bulbs that recall Hollywood-style vanity mirrors, and also artworks from the 1960’s and 70’s by various Conceptual artists. As the bulbs burn and fade to black, Monk’s signs become realized.



from May 07, 2009 to June 20, 2009

Opening Reception on 2009-05-07 from 18:00 to 20:00


Jonathan Monk

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