World Time Clock – Used Cars

September 2 - October 15 2011

It is a great pleasure for Galleri Nicolai Wallner to present: World Time Clock and Used Cars, two exhibitions with new works by Jonathan Monk.

Jonathan Monk consistently recasts or extends conceptual art’s most emblematic strategies – ideas over object making, the dematerialization of the art object, and serialization. Challenging the notions of originality and authorship still present in art, Monk’s work suggests ways of rethinking both the traditional role of the artist and the creative process in general. Through his artistic career he has paired a conceptual approach with a wry wit and a certain down-to-earth sensibility.

A series of neons, Used Cars inhabit one of the exhibition rooms. The works are priced and titled according to various used cars being sold in the local newspaper. The possibility of either acquiring a car or an art piece – choosing between the satisfaction of practical needs or aesthetic fulfillment – cleverly reflects our notions about art, its status, appearance and market value.

Similarly employing the idea of the handed down object two pairs of grandfather clocks beat in and out of synch. Their humanlike shapes suggest two people eyeing each other. The sound of the clock poetically address childhood memories of visiting your grandparents coupled with a classic feeling of Memento mori.

The concept of time is further underlined by a number of circular One Minute paintings inspired by the thoughts of UK artist John Latham (1921 -2006). Latham searched all his life for a single theory that could encompass the different biological and psychological aspects of life, and seemingly found it in the idea of flat time which he visualized by a single burst of spray paint. Perhaps a more realistic vision of a system to unify the world is presented through a series of maps: Map of the World in Handkerchiefs, Map of the World in Black Leather, and Map of the World in Work Wear. With the national states reduced to specific pieces of clothing Monk rather humorously suggests another way of bringing us together.

Recent solo museum exhibitions include Time Between Spaces, Palais de Tokyo and Musée d’art Moderne (Paris) and the travelling exhibition Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, etc., Kunstverein Hannover (Hannover), Kunstmuseum St. Gallen (St. Gallen), Kunsthalle Nürnberg (Nürnberg), and Haus am Waldsee (Berlin).

Monk is represented in numerous public collections including Museum of Modern Art (New York), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), Tate Britain (London), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), and The National Gallery of Denmark (Copenhagen).