Tony Matelli - Summer Wave Paris Thursday, August 3, 2023 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    MARUANI MERCIER Gallery, Brussels

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘The weed is a triumph and a failure at the same time. Weeds persevere; you can’t kill them. They are celebration of unwantedness.’ - Tony Matelli

    Born in Chicago in 1971, Tony Matelli is a New York-based artist whose hyper-realistic, meticulously rendered sculptures challenge the physical potential of bronze, pushing the medium to its limits. Often representing challenging or subversive subjects, Matelli explores themes such as the connection between human beings and our understanding of life and death, identity and our relationship to culture, societal values and sense of place. 565 comes from the artist’s series of Weeds, a subject that persists in his oeuvre, as symbols of both life and decay, as well as treading the boundary between beauty and neglect.

    ‘I don’t think people initially engage with them as sculpture, I think people initially engage with them as real weeds, which allows them to function in the mind of the viewer as real interlopers, strange and out of place … I intended it to be about how things are valued and how we assign value in culture. What is a weed and what’s a cultivated plant? What is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour? What belongs here and not there? For me, it was more about situational or contextual correctness, and other things, too, like feeling out of place, or persistence.’

    The last two years have seen Matelli the subject of two important solo exhibitions, Arrangements at Nino Mier Gallery, LA (2022) and Timelines, Maruani Mercier Gallery, Belgium (2023). His works have been included extensively in many major international institutions including the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Uppsala Museum, Sweden, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, The Davis Museum, Wellesley, MA, Kunsthalle, Vienna, and Bergen Kunstmuseum, Norway.



painted bronze
64.8 x 27.9 x 20.3 cm (25 1/2 x 10 7/8 x 7 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2020.

Price On Request

Summer Wave