ARoS Aarhus

DK-8000 Aarhus

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press release

In the autumn of 2012, ARoS will be presenting a large special exhibition from the American artist Tony Matelli.

Using an often hyperrealistic idiom, Matelli describes the more disquieting sides of human beings and human society. His sculptures straddle the boundary between uneasiness and humour: in a number of the works he turns innocence into absurdity, such as when animals or humans are maltreated by various weapons and devices. This can be seen in the work Fucked, which has been a challenging and very controversial part of the permanent collect at ARoS since 2006. There are similar experiences in a number of his early works involving apes in human situations.

With this exhibition, ARoS wishes to present to the museum's guests an artist who is providing a new interpretation of the American, realistic sculpture tradition through his works. He does this by casting a simultaneously disquieting and humorous glance at the age he is living in. This can also be seen in ARoS’s new acquisition Yesterday (photo), which as a monument to boredom presents an overdimensioned house of cards constructed from playing cards, beer cans, pizza leftovers and cigarette butts. The sculpture is cast in bronze, and it creates humoristic opposition between the motif and the material.

By taking an integrated look at Tony Matelli's production, it can be seen how in the past ten years he has moved away from depicting humans to simply sticking to the signs of human existence instead. The exhibition will encompass both existing as well as new works created especially for ARoS.

Tony Matelli (b. 1971) lives and works in New York.

only in german

Tony Matelli
Kurator: Pernille Taagaard Dinesen