bureau inc

The mind is a terrible thing to waste/taste and the antique
Justin Matherly at Frieze New York

May 3 - 7 2012
Bureau, Frame Section Booth R11

image: Justin Mathery, Untitled (Arm), 2012, inkjet monoprint on paper, unique.

Justin Matherly’s work centers on the desire to make ideas physical. His 2D and sculptural work deals with a layering of references seen through different intellectual and historical lenses, built up through a wrestling with material to present dense and impressive work of weight and pathos.

For Frieze New York, the artist presents a major new work based on the Hellenistic sculpture, Laocoön (early first century B.C.).The artist’s use of cast-concrete and metal ambulatory supports allow for sculptural interpretation and re-consideration of the antique through everyday construction materials and ready-made supports.

A number of Hellenistic sculptures—some of the giants of antiquity—have become the characters in the artist’s latest work. These fragmented and amputated pieces have been analyzed through numerous philosophical frameworks and have ultimately been reconstructed both ideologically and physically over the course of centuries. The Laocoön is considered one of the pinnacles of ideal Greek beauty, showing the priest Laocoön and his sons being defeated by a sea serpent. It embodies the paradox of portraying the ideal beauty of active male forms while showing them in the throes of exertion and destruction.


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