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Ian Monroe

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Arise, 2004. Vinyl on steel. 201 x 301 cm
Arise, 2004. Vinyl on steel. 201 x 301 cm
Ian Monroe (American, born New York, 1972) came to public attention in 2003 when a large-scale work from his recent MA degree show was featured in the opening exhibition at the new Saatchi gallery. They Built Upon It is Monroe's second solo show since graduating from Goldsmiths College two years ago, and presents a significant body of new work.

Building Steam from a Grain of Salt, 2004. *
Building Steam from a Grain of Salt, 2004. *
Among Monroe's works of 2002-2003 are a series of large-scale collages on paper, made with either monochrome or wood-grain vinyl but sometimes also including carpet and linoleum, that depict cavernous interior spaces filled to excess with mass-produced stereo-speakers. The works explore the tension between the warehouse-style presentation of the stacks of similar products, and the consumer's belief that possessing a pair will express their personal identity. At the same time, the materials used to represent the depicted products draw attention to consumer society's tendency to replace old models with newer "better" ones.



Ian Monroe lives and works in London and was included in Edge of the Real, a group painting show at the Whitechapel Gallery in 2004. They Built Upon It is accompanied by the first major catalogue of Monroe's work that includes texts by poet and art critic, Barry Schwabsky, and by art writer, Sally O'Reilly.


* Vinyl on aluminium.
Images copyyright Haunch of Vension & Ian Monroe 2005


In the five large-scale new works presented in They Built Upon It the speakers are gone, and the architectonic space is brought to the foreground where the surface of the work and the materials of its making are given more prominence. The works investigate the nature of idealised space: the showroom, the corporate office atrium, the church, and the hyper real environments of science fiction and computer games. All these spaces cater to, or project onto us, specific desires or lifestyles that maintain certain kinds of collective social myths. The materials used to make the new work, including shiny contact paper, reflect these interiors with their veneer of luxury or quality and their aspiration to inspire or intimidate. The confrontational scale of the works bats the viewer back and forth between experiential space and the impenetrable surface, describing forms that lie parallel to the picture frame, and placing Monroe's collages somewhere between painting and sculpture. Two three-dimensional works are included in the exhibition, presenting objects that seem to have escaped from the paintings, but are dematerialised to the point that they appear to have less solidity than the painted objects.

True Believers, 2004 *
True Believers, 2004 *

IAN MONROE : THEY BUILT UPON IT
at Haunch of Venison
6 Haunch of Venison Yard
London
W1K 5ES
United Kingdom
Europe

T: 44 0 20 7495 5050
F: 44
M: 44
w: http://www.haunchofvenison.com



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Haunch of Venison
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