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제목 Jonathan Monk I ♥ 1984
글쓴이 Lisson Gallery
홈페이지 Homepage : http://lissongallery.com
날짜 2014-11-20 [15:01] count : 10884 IP : 125.128.150.15
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For his sixth solo exhibition at Lisson Gallery, Jonathan Monk revisits narratives drawn
from his own biography and transforms historical works by artists that have also
proved to be personal, formative influences.

Jonathan Monk: I ♥ 1984
14 November – 17 January 2015
27 Bell Street, London
For his sixth solo exhibition at Lisson Gallery, Jonathan Monk revisits narratives drawn
from his own biography and transforms historical works by artists that have also
proved to be personal, formative influences. A new wall-hung assemblage of stitchedtogether
souvenir tea towels, entitled My Life Within the Lives of Others II (2014),
marks every year and indeed every day since his birth so far, with 46 anachronistic
cloth calendars showing different species of Australian birds, Swiss chalet exteriors
and other kitsch scenes. Fragments of his parents’ 1970s curtain material are
rendered in photographic works that return them to framed, window-like settings,
despite the fabrics clearly being discarded as drop cloths for subsequent domestic redecoration.
Among the moving portraits of Monk’s family is a slideshow that
magnifies one image of them 80 times over, through which the artist is reflected in
his child’s gaze – as titled, Monk is literally Searching for My Father in My Sister's Eyes
(2002) – while a series of childhood or holiday snaps, Same Time In A Different Place,
are each juxtaposed with a vintage invitation card, for shows by the likes of Dan
Graham, Sol LeWitt or On Kawara, sourced from the same date.
In stark contrast to such close-to-home subject matter, Monk has assembled a
monumental installation of seven minimalist metal structures, each of these speciallybuilt
and coloured-coded pallets containing a shipment of rocks gathered from seven
different contested territories in the Middle East: Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Palestine,
Saudi Arabia, Israel and Syria (although no rocks could be gathered from this last
location). These enclosed tranches of landscape, culturally displaced and geopolitically
charged, relate to Land Art exponent Robert Smithson’s Non-Site series, for
which he re-displayed earth excavated from specific areas in similar, pallet-shaped
sculptural containers within a gallery. Other homages to recent heroes of art history
include Blow Up, Monk’s tongue-in-cheek destruction of the photographic work of
German couple Bernd and Hilla Becher. Monk mimics their grids of monochromatic
studies of industrial architecture, except the cooling towers and gas cylinders are
toppling over and imploding in the process of being demolished.
While these two dominant poles of Monk’s practice – his familial inheritance and his
art historical inheritance – can seem worlds apart, many pieces weave together both
strands. The life-sized, white ceramic Pig (2012) is both a scaled-up version of a piggy
bank from his childhood and an imagining of an unrealised sculpture by Jeff Koons, as
noted by the American artist as an alternative for his famous metallic bunny. Similarly,
Monk’s imposing self-portrait busts inspired by idealised Greco-Roman statuary, has
each had its nose smited by a famous Italian artist of the Arte Povera generation,
such as Jannis Kounellis, Gilberto Zorio or Emilio Prini, as well as by Monk himself.
Throughout the exhibition, Monk’s authentic, artistic authorship variously raises or
lowers its head above the parapets, either reaffirming his life’s work or else
channelling the work of others. The sight of numerous melancholic objects – a
discarded piano cover, carved from wood, or a neon lightbox blinking between life
and death – suggests a reflective strand in Monk’s work, both lamenting time past
and lauding bygone art historical heydays, especially so in the nostalgic title that
references key literary and musical touchstones, I ♥ 1984.
About the artist
British artist Jonathan Monk replays, revises and re-examines seminal works of
Conceptual and Minimal art by variously witty, ingenious and irreverent means.
Speaking in 2009, he said, “Appropriation is something I have used or worked with in
my art since starting art school in 1987. At this time (and still now) I realised that
being original was almost impossible, so I tried using what was already available as
source material for my own work.” Through wall paintings, monochromes,
ephemeral sculpture and photography he reflects on the tendency of contemporary
art to devour references, simultaneously paying homage to figures such as Sol
LeWitt, Ed Ruscha, Bruce Nauman and Lawrence Weiner, while demystifying the
creative process. Monk is constantly asking ‘what next?’ His stainless steel series
entitled Deflated Sculpture (2009) refigures Jeff Koon’s iconic balloon rabbit in various
stages of collapse; letting the air out isn’t an act of iconoclasm so much as giving the
original idea new life. But his conceptual configurations are also grounded in the
personal: ‘what next?’ takes on a poignancy in the slide projection In Search of Gregory
Peck (1997), where Monk brought together a collection of photographs taken by his
late father in the 1950s, preceding him as a tourist in the US.
Jonathan Monk was born in Leicester in 1969 and lives and works in Berlin and
Rome. He has a BFA from Leicester Polytechnic (1988) and an MFA from Glasgow
School of Art (1991). Solo exhibitions include Centro De Arte Contemporáneo
(CAC) Málaga (2013), Kunstraum Dornbirn, Austria (2013), Palais de Tokyo and
Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris (2008), Kunstverein Hannover (2006), Institute of
Contemporary Art, London (2005) and Museum Kunst Palast, Dusseldorf (2003). His
work has been in many group exhibitions, including Whitney Biennial (2006), the
50th and 53rd Venice Biennales (2003, 2009), Berlin Biennale (2001) and Taipei
Biennial (2000). He was awarded the Prix du Quartier Des Bains, Geneva in 2012.
About Lisson Gallery
Lisson Gallery is one of the most influential and longest-running international
contemporary art galleries in the world. Established in 1967 by Nicholas Logsdail, it
pioneered the early careers of important Minimal and Conceptual artists, such as Sol
LeWitt and Richard Long, as well as those of significant British sculptors from Anish
Kapoor and Tony Cragg to a younger generation, led by Ryan Gander and Haroon
Mirza. In addition to its two exhibition spaces in London, one in Milan and a fourth
gallery to open under the High Line in New York in early 2015, the Lisson Presents
programme also extends a legacy of curatorial innovation beyond the galleries,
working with institutions and artists to present new initiatives around the world.
Exhibition Facts
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 11am-5pm
Location: 27 Bell Street, London, NW1 5DA
Tel: + 44(0)20 7724 2739
Website: http://www.lissongallery.com
For press information and images please contact:
Gair Burton or Diana Babei at Rhiannon Pickles PR
Tel: +44 (0) 778 986 8991
Email: gair@picklespr.com, diana@picklespr.com

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