Published by UCCA/Koenig Books. Edited by Karen Marta, Brian Roettinger.
For Square Garden, Matthew Monahan (born 1972) reproduces a series of 30 six-foot drawings which seem to continuously resurface, as if the reader is navigating through an unfurling labyrinth where images rise and fall like the monuments of a fictional empire. Made from carbon paper folded into rice paper to create a series of overlapping Rorschachs, the simple drawings of figures, building materials and decorative motifs come to resemble architectural plans, disaster diagrams, exercise manuals and war games. A kaleidoscope-esque experience, Square Garden was inspired by the artist's 2002-2003 experience of Chinese traditional architecture and garden design, as well as the contemporary urban landscape. Following in the great artist book tradition of John Baldessari and Edward Ruscha, the UCCA has called on Matthew Monahan along with LA artists Kathryn Andrews, Aaron Curry, Alex Israel, Sterling Ruby, Ryan Trecartin, and Kaari Upson to make individual artist books for The Los Angeles Project in Beijing.
Published by Hatje Cantz. Text by Douglas Fogle, Raphaela Platow.
Matthew Monahan (born 1972) adorns his precariously assembled figurative sculptures with wax, glitter and spray paint to achieve effects of aged bronze, portraying his subjects as loose gatherings of worn parts that might fly apart at any moment. This is his first monograph.
Published by The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Edited by Ari Wiseman.
Matthew Monahan creates striking sculptures that engage with the formal challenges of figuration in drawing and sculpture while addressing political, personal and art histories. His elaborate compositions are created from drawings and fragments of former smaller works made from such disparate materials as floral foam, beeswax, glitter, pins, Styrofoam, glass and drywall that he assembles into freestanding sculptures. Handcrafted characters including warriors, saints, slain heroes and demons appear simultaneously as icons and iconoclasts within the ambiguous narrative to which Monahan's work alludes. Human emotions ranging from jubilation to anguish are depicted in Monahan's characters, each seemingly frozen in time and part of an unidentifiable, ahistorical epoch. Not driven by an interest in creating a perfected or pristine object, the works are as much representations of Monahan's thought process as they are finished sculptures. This publication brings together work from the past 10 years upon the occasion of Monahan's debut solo museum exhibition.