Nao Matsumoto "4"

hpgrp gallery

poster for Nao Matsumoto "4"

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hpgrp GALLERY NY announces an exhibition of new works by New York-based artist Nao Matsumoto. Consisting of four mixed media sculptures made in the past year, the show is a continuation of themes that Matsumoto has been working on for most of his career. In them, he explores the natural world, and makes work that depicts the duality and the irony of his observations.

In Chainsaw Blue, Matsumoto created a fiber re-enforced plastic sculpture of a Sawfish, a creature with a jagged sword-like snout. In the work, this appendage is replaced by an actual chainsaw, which both mimics the natural shape of the fish, as well as makes a play on its name. Matsumoto, who has always been fascinated by animals that have illogical phenotypes, painted the work sky blue and white, to counterbalance the fear evoked by the menacing creature. Coupled with the pun on its name, Matsumoto’s sawfish is marked by his characteristic wit and interest in latent violence, the boiling tension that pervades much of his work.

In You/Me, Matsumoto attaches approximately 40,000 screws on wooden baseboards to spell out the words “You” and “Me,” a pun on the phrase “Screw you, Screw me.” The resulting effect—the letters look like they are made out of swarms of wasps congregated on honeycombs—lends the work an organic texture despite the fact that it’s made out of industrial materials. Requiring what Matsumoto describes as “intensely mundane labor,” the piece exudes a latent element of violence not only through its message, but also because of the frustration and boredom the artist felt when he was drilling each screw into the letters. In the gallery, the two words will be hung on opposite walls, thereby sandwiching the viewer between this subtly aggressive work.

In 100, one-hundred individually cast resin ant heads are mounted on the wall in a precise, square grid. The installation—a continuation of Matsumoto’s earlier work, in which he associates insect heads with numbers—compares the systematic nature of the decimal system with the efficiency of the social structure of ants. For the artist, the number 100 signals a certain aesthetic completeness, and affords him the opportunity to observe synchronicities with events that occur in his own life.

In SAMF-V, Matsumoto created a vehicle out of mud tires mounted on a steel frame, with long, vicious wooden spikes pointing horizontally in both directions. Reminiscent of something a character would drive in the post-apocalyptic film Mad Max, the work channels both primitive violence and industrial strength. Inspired in part by the wood carvings of the Makonde tribe, which Matsumoto saw when he was living in Tanzania, as well as gargoyles and the wooden stakes hypothetically used to kill vampires, the work serves as a kind of demonic form, to ward off evil spirits. Using both modern and primitive materials the vehicle is at once intimidating and enticing, as is any other kind of lethal weaponry.



from April 04, 2012 to May 12, 2012

Opening Reception on 2012-04-05 from 18:00 to 20:00


Nao Matsumoto

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    leyao: (2012-05-05 at 10:05)


    lizesan: (2012-05-06 at 15:05)

    Birth of the cool

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