303 Gallery is proud to present our second solo exhibition of new work by Matt Johnson.
For this occasion, Johnson will exhibit a selection of sculptures in carved, bent, and painted wood. The objects depicted in his new works are the casual detritus of art studios or building sites, whose forms are the result of usage and discarding. Crumpled cardboard boxes, shards of cut drywall, a discarded cup, pizza box, and rolls of blue painter’s tape are preserved in stasis, forms that would normally be realized only in the temporality between utility and refuse. These simple moments of dispossession become the generators of their own poiesis, as their incidental elegance is preserved through replication as sculpture. In a conceit to the transient fragility of sculpture proffered by artists like Fischli & Weiss, a certain lack of the essential qualities that confer existence upon an object is imbued in Johnson's forms. This impermanent nature is borne out by the sculptural constructions themselves, as their wooden armatures form the supports for objects that you would usually expect to see crumble in front of you.
Johnson's approach to display lends the exhibition a scientific quality, as objects are arranged in constellations that seem to hint at a gravitational attraction created by their masses and the spaces between them. Long concerned with creating rifts in the negotiation between expectation and reality, Johnson's sculptures are arranged to communicate with each other, and seem to morph according to their imposed relations. The rubble of production, artistic, commercial and otherwise, is used to create a new type of codification, one in which objects between states and materials in flux become their own profligate and surreptitious communicators. An incorporeal form of predicate dualism begins to take hold, wherein an object can be both itself and signify a potential beyond both form and function.
Matt Johnson has exhibited widely in such international venues as The Serpentine Gallery, London (2005); The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2005, 2009); The Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2007); The Hydra Workshop, Hydra, Greece (2011); The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2012). A series of the artist's Lautner Beams, inspired by cast-offs from John Lautner’s demolished Shusett House was installed in the lobby of the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood in 2015. His site-specific work Untitled (Swan) was unveiled as part of Wanderlust, a group exhibition installed along New York’s Highline in 2016, where it is on view until March 2017. Born in New York, Johnson currently lives and works in Los Angeles.