Artists: Matt Keegan, Kay Rosen
Venue: Grazer Kunstverein, Graz
Exhibition Title: Eine Wanderausstellung
Date: June 11 – August 7, 2016
Full gallery of images, video and link available after the jump.
Matt Keegan, ‘N’ as Nancy, 2011, Video, 3 mins 9 secs
Images and video courtesy of Grazer Kunstverein
As part of its 30th anniversary programming, the Grazer Kunstverein carries on its dedication and investigation into language, exchange and communication by presenting an exhibition by American artists Matt Keegan and Kay Rosen. Following Philippe Van Snick’s post-minimalist approach to painting, this exhibition investigates the physical relation to and translation of language in space, while simultaneously portraying an intimate dialogue between two artists from different generations.
Kay Rosen (b. 1943, US) has been exploring the possibilities of the word-as-image for the past four decades following her early academic studies in languages and linguistics. Her work takes pleasure in the small shifts and the subtle changes in language that subvert meaning and reveal the unexpected. In her paintings, drawings, wall works and collages she uses color, scale, composition, grammatical and typographical strategies, and above all, the structure of language and letterforms to challenge the way people view, read and understand the works presented. In addition to the mailings with Keegan, Rosen will include in ‘Eine Wanderausstellung’ a three-part site-specific wall painting ‘Happy Ever After’; a new video ‘Blue Monday’ and a small painting ‘She-Man’.
Matt Keegan (b. 1976, US) is an interdisciplinary artist. For ‘Eine Wanderausstellung’ he presents a laser-cut sculpture, wall painting, video and collage that highlight his use of idiomatic phrases – for instance, “it goes without saying” or “picture perfect” – calling attention to the materiality of language and its open-ended possibilities. Like Rosen, Keegan mines the rich terrain of word-as-image, as seen in his video “N” as in Nancy. For his work, the artist’s mother, Nancy, is shown assigning words and phrases to images that she assembled to teach English as a Second Language coursework to High School and Adult Education classes. Translation of images, material, meaning, color and form are foundationale to the Keegan’s work.
Keegan and Rosen’s shared interess led to a physical mail exchange started in 2009 and ongoing. Through their correspondence, they have created an archive of images, drawings, collages, and notes that map their thoughts and ideas about current events, their daily lives, pop culture, humor and more.
The exhibition Eine Wanderausstellung will be the first to bring together a selection of their mailings alongside works by each of the artists. The exhibition will take on a new form at the Contemporary Art Museum Houston in October.