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Matt Lipps
at Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, California
Recommendation by DeWitt Cheng


'Untitled' (lamp) C-print 46 × 31' (print size) 2008 Edition of 5 +2APs

Continuing through June 12, 2010

Cubism's fracturing of space and Abstract Expressionism's charged brushstroke meet Postmodernist appropriation and artifice in Matt Lipps' large-scale photographs. Ostensibly depicting ordinary domestic spaces like kitchens and garages, they also tackle, by implication, the history of painting and photography - and, just for good measure, the representation of nature and the nature of representation. That may sound impossibly complex and aridly theoretical. The works are in fact visually compelling, as well as pictorial and conceptual rebuses that invite the eye to negotiate their spatial labyrinths and decipher their construction.
 

Lipps begins by printing his photographs on page-sized colored papers; he cuts these into diagonal strips and reassembles them into lattices reminiscent of Cubism's intersecting and interpenetrating planes. This method has the effect of demanding the eye to track from partial to whole relationships, then back again, revealing and concealing bits of reality amid the abstract scaffolding. Superimposed atop these shifting perspectives are rephotographed fragments from familiar Ansel Adams landscapes that belong to Lipps. Torn into jagged strips, they allude both to the organic forms of the natural world and to their simplified symbolic depiction in abstract paintings. Lipps rephotographs the collages and enlarges them, letting the colored strips show conspicuously at the edges, like unraveled threads, or sloppy paint on the sides of stretched canvases.

Jessica Silverman Gallery

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