Let’go is the second of Monster Truck Gallery’s annual shows, the first being the hugely successful Plasticine, curated by Lola Rayne Booth and Alan Butler in 2007. Let’go, a verbal play on the children’s building toy Lego, will present work by five artists, along with a number of found objects. The artists are The Little Artists (Darren Neave and John Cake), Dara McGrath, Julie Merriman, Brendan Earley and Luci Lane. Various artistic practices will address the form and function of the block or brick, geometry, the built environment and architecture, money and tabloid newspapers’ fascination with contemporary art and in particular, the now anachronistic argument surrounding Minimalism, public spending on art and sculptor Carl Andre’s work Equivalent VIII.
“Bricks are not works of art. Bricks are bricks. You can build walls with them or chuck them through jewellers’ windows, but you cannot stack them two deep and call it sculpture”, Keith Waterhouse, The Daily Mirror, February 16th, 1976.
In 1976, when an innocuous piece appeared in the Sunday Times on recent purchases made with government funds, it unleashed a tabloid and media fury that culminated in the now infamous cover headline “What a load of rubbish”. The reporting and editorial attention of artist Carl André’s work has reverberated through the years and no other art controversy in the late 20th and early 21st centuries has come close to rivaling the media interest and derision surrounding the Tate “bricks”. It has become an important touchstone for speculation on the ontology of art and the evolution of our concept of art objects and is now one of the most popular exhibits in Tate. Let’ Go will show found objects relating to this work.
The Little Artists (Darren Neave and John Cake) make miniature copies of famous and controversial art works from the children’s toy, Lego. For this exhibition they will show 5 works: Boing Boing It’s the Little Artists (Enebriated Emin Enraged), 2006; Whiteread’s Room, 2004; Hirst’s Shark Tank, 1994-2004; Chapman’s Dead Guys, 2004; Emin’s Bed, 2004.
They neither seek to undermine nor to critique the works that they miniaturise, rather they are enthusiastic fans of the canon of post war and contemporary art that they reference. These exact, albeit, miniature copies of works are made of composite parts from various Lego sets, made to include various artists and figures from the art world.
Dara McGrath’s photograph Kodo Muni Kunoi comes from the 2005 series Green Lands, part of a project commissioned by the EU, to document every prefecture or county in Japan over a four year period. What came of this was a gradual unfolding of everyday life in suburban Tokyo, a place where the modern built environment sits comfortably with nature as they merge to form an incongruous harmony.
Julie Merriman’s delicate carbon drawings engage with the last traces of modern utopian architecture, most notably three failed Dublin housing projects – St. Michael’s Estate, Fatima Mansions and the Ballymun Towers. Her large-scale drawings create a forgiving memorial of the failed utopian buildings that fashion, and more importantly, society chose to erase. These erasions call into question our perceived notion of the permanence and solidity of the act of building.
Brendan Earley’s practice has recently been concerned with the aspirations and failures of utopian modernism, more specifically its art and architecture. His sculptures and constructions have been assembled from found materials, low technology and discarded building materials. The totemic Artefact I is made from aluminium cast from found Styrofoam.
Luci Lane’s process driven paintings relate to the aftermath of demolition and destruction. She is attracted to the process of renewal rather than the failure or dereliction of the buildings that form the basis of her work. She works from photographs, hastily taken during the demolition, and these images become the starting point for her images. The remnants of buildings become a place of tragic beauty as fireplaces, wallpaper and painted walls cling tentatively to the remnants of the building.
For more information on the exhibition or to request media images please contact Rebecca Gale or Elaine Fallon, RHA Marketing at 01 661 2558 ext 111 or firstname.lastname@example.org