Andréhn-Schiptjenko Paris presents Displacement Map this fall, a new solo exhibition with New York-based artist Tony Matelli. The exhibition, the 8th with the gallery and the second one in Paris, will feature recent works shown for the first time, among these, a life-sized self-portrait and a series of Arrangements, polychrome bronze bouquets of inverted flowers as well as a number of paintings, the first time the artist has shown in this medium.
A “Displacement Map” typically refers to a graphic technique used in computer graphics and image processing to displace the positions of pixels in an image, creating a sense of depth and distortion. Like a metaphorical displacement map, life pushes and reshapes us, compelling us to navigate uncharted territories and adapt to unforeseen challenges. The internal contradiction within the term itself eludes to a kind of permanent confusion. Suggesting an uprooting of one’s familiar mode of being and understanding it also implies a transformation of identity and a shift in perspective.
Matelli’s perspectival reorientations of objects and ideas are most felt in his Arrangement series, where commonplace bouquets of flowers are upended and reified into miraculous and meticulously constructed sculptures. These works – comprising kaleidoscopic tulips, delicate rubber band-bound lilies, potted orchids, and vibrant tropical and wildflowers – have been transformed into traditional cast bronze and exquisitely painted. The works, often resting upon a single petal, bear no load from their gravitational sublimation; almost as images or ideas, these sculptures are reinstated upon the pedestal as if the laws of nature containing them were intact—yet inverted—around them.
This reorientation of perception is transposed into the psychic space of Matelli’s new series of self-portraits, likewise titled Arrangement. Hyper- realistically rendered in silicone, the sculpture depicts the artist standing contrapposto and in studio clothes, his disembodied head having multiplied and attached itself in various positions on his body. The work is a meditation on the act of looking, the act of thinking, and the bizarre and phantasmagorical experience of the mind separating from its body. This moment — a phenomenon locked within — is externalized in Arrangement, made both disturbing and fantastic in its meticulous accounting of every detail.
Displacement Map will also premiere the artist’s first paintings. While the oil on canvas constitutes a shift in mediation in relation to the collages and works on paper that have been a continuous part of Matelli’s practice over the years, they are conceptually linked. They are both preparatory and finished work while also serving as a representation of the collage and assemblage nature of much of Matelli’s sculptural practice.
– C. Rhinehart
Andréhn-Schiptjenko [Exhibition Site]