Matt Connors “Machines”


This event has ended.

CANADA presents “Machines” a solo exhibition by Matt Connors. It might be tempting to read Connors’ project as theoretical, but this is disrupted by a strong lyrical component in the work that registers on an emotive level. To reinforce this contrast Connors has built an installation in the front space of the gallery that serves to prime or (dis)orient the viewer; large temporary walls disrupt the passage of a normal gallery walk from the street to the rear exhibition space. The physical impediment is confounded and complicated by carefully chosen wall paint color, asking us to view the monoliths not as walls but as painted sculptures or freestanding paintings. The context becomes the subject. The considered frames for drawings, the correct weave of the canvas, the fugitive splats of acrylic color all seem to reinforce this point. The smallest seemingly unimportant detail is dignified, like the edge in a Jo Baer painting. Connors stretches the bounds of subject matter and we are rewarded with the surprise of how elastic art can be…it works!
It is funny to think of paintings as machines, as the show’s title suggests. A machine, simply defined, is an object made to harness energy to perform a specific task. Is that what a painting does? Maybe, but perhaps the title is meant to provoke us beyond this point. Machines were an important touchstone for modernist artists and an important metaphor for modernism’s progressive ethos neatly summed up by Ezra Pound’s statement that art, like an ever-improving technology, must “make it new”. The “task” these machines do is subtle and a little difficult to tease out, but it is real. It is about harnessing the power of our collective recognition of painting ideas and turning them around, undoing them a little bit to show the pathos and lost desire of a grand project.



from April 25, 2014 to June 01, 2014


Matt Connors

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