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Roy McMakin

Residential Line

September 17 - October 29, 2005
523 W 24 Street
Opening Friday, September 16, 2005

Press Release

Matthew Marks is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Roy McMakin, the next exhibition in his galleries at 523 West 24th Street and 521 West 21st Street. This will be the artist's first exhibition at the Matthew Marks Gallery.

McMakin has taken as a starting point for this exhibition the idea of a complete residential environment. Residential Line, the installation on view at the 24th Street gallery, includes furnishings for every room of the house, from kitchen to bedroom to bath. In this installation, which includes over thirty pieces, the artist reinterprets objects one might find in a typical suburban home. Some works have undergone only subtle transformation from their usual forms, while other works have maintained the suburban visual language but have been completely reworked, taking on a curious new visual syntax. In one such work, what appears to be a bookcase turns into a bathroom vanity with sink and mirror on the other side.

In the gallery on 21st Street, McMakin will show Lequita Faye Melvin, a single work consisting of nineteen pieces of furniture in painted wood and upholstery, including a full-size bed, several tables, a chest of drawers, stools, three lamps, and a clock. All of these pieces are exquisitely crafted and fully functional, and they are all an identical shade of pale gray. These works are based on the artist's memories of furnishings in his grandparents' house in Oklahoma, where his mother, Lequita Faye Melvin, was raised.

The artist, whose work occupies the space between furniture and sculpture, finds inspiration in the forms of vernacular furnishings, often pieces the artist remembers from his childhood. McMakin has reworked these objects of American domesticity, making unexpected changes in scale and material in such a way as to subvert how a piece of furniture is typically received. The works, which are always meticulously produced, explore at what point a piece of furniture can no longer be considered "useful," and the artist's playful reinterpretation of traditional objects is often made through surprising juxtapositions within the same piece: for instance, half of a table will be slightly smaller than the other half, with two legs floating a few inches off the floor. As Michael Darling writes in his introduction to the catalogue accompanying McMakin's 2003 exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, "If it's built like a table and looks like a table but doesn't exactly work like a table, can it still be a table?"

Roy McMakin was born in 1956 and began exhibiting his work in Los Angeles in 1980. His work has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at the Henry Art Gallery, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Roy McMakin will be on view at the Matthew Marks Gallery, 523 West 24th Street
and 521 West 21st Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues) through October 29, 2005.
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.

For further information or reproductions please contact Sabrina Buell at 212-243-0200.

Additional Information