Untitled (Nail 5)
Wood, acrylic paint
61 × 13 3/8 × 9 in (155 × 34 × 23 cm)
Image courtesy of the artist and Édouard Montassut, Paris
Matthew Langan-Peck (b. 1988) lives and works in New York. Untitled (Nail 5) (2016) is part of Langan-Peck’s series of upside-down nails first started in 2015. The nail series exhibits “a dual aesthetic of camp and fatigue that corrupts the symbols conveyed by the forms. The sculptures are threatening to collapse under their weight.” Painted in shiny acrylic with geometric color blocking, the phallic nails transmute the graphics of national flags or racing stripes. The nails can also be seen to satirize a genre of sculpture known as plop art – oversized, shiny sculptures placed in front of corporate plazas and public spaces. Langan-Peck’s nails are hand-painted and hard-carved of wood, coming from a place requiring makeshift improvisation rather than a high-end production budget of commissioned plop art sculpture.
Langan-Peck (b. 1988) lives and works in New York. His practice interrogates symbols of American culture and art history. He often takes a commonly-known object and recreates it, enlarging its typical proportions and using homemade materials in a playful manner.
While the objects in his installations are too big to be games, often embarrassing by their volumes, and some may seem ridiculous; the objects contain an opposition — or a tension — that combines playfulness with the fragility of life. They are, at once, ambitious gestures of power and delicate assemblages of waste and recycled materials.
Many of Langan-Peck’s recent exhibitions include “audio guides” presenting fictionalized first-person narratives portraying the contemporary American dream and its imagined futures.
“Des Gonflables et des Clous,” Édouard Montassut, Paris, 10 September – 8 October 2016