Plastic Surgery, to look like you, 2017, installation view, galerie frank elbaz, Dallas, TX, USA
Photo: Kevin Todora
galerie frank elbaz Dallas is pleased to present Plastic Surgery, to look like you, a new group exhibition featuring works by Andy Coolquitt, Guillaume Leblon, and Matthew Wong.
Whether it be Andy Coolquitt’s monochromatic ghosts, Guillaume Leblon’s weighty detachments, or Matthew Wong’s literal-scale representations, this exhibition underscores the points of physical and symbolic synergy between these different practices. Although each artist employs unique methodologies, sensibilities, and agendas, they are all activating the viewer’s own co-presence, and addressing each subject as an object. As actors engaging props on a stage, all components of this narrative, including you, are expanding and contracting in the elasticity of media & medium - the French speak of “les arts plastiques”.
The slippery dialogue between representation and abstraction is arguably the core issue of the Great Project of Modernism. The other well known theoretical dichotomies (and there are many) can all eventually be reduced to some variant of the classical mind-body problem. In all cases the latent, if obvious, protagonist is you. More specifically, your body … form, color, mass and surface are qualities that we can shape, or are shaped despite our best intentions. From Michelangelo’s ‘David’, through Bruce Nauman’s ground-breaking experiments with his own body, to the evolution of Michael Jackson’s face, the body as object is now more than ever a media unto itself. Outreaching your arm with your self-facing camera for the perfect selfie, rendering your self as an other - a great reminder that your body is the least mediated of all media.
Andy Coolquitt lives and works in Austin, Texas. He has exhibited with Lisa Cooley in New York, Zero in Milan, Johan Konig in Berlin, and the Blaffer Museum in Houston. The latter accompanied by a monograph published by the UT Press, featuring contributions from Dan Fox, Matthew Higgs and Jan Tumlir. He will have a three-year-long solo exhibition with the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara starting in the spring of 2018.
Guillaume Leblon lives and works in New York. He has exhibited widely across Europe and the US, including MASS MoCA, the Contemporary Art Gallery of Vancouver, MUDAM Luxembourg, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Galerie Jocelyn Wolff in Paris, and Carlier-Gerbauer in Berlin. In addition, he is included in the permanent collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and the Pinault Collection at the Punta della Dogana in Venice.
Matthew Wong lives and works in Edmonton, Alberta. He has exhibited with Cheim & Reid in New York, Office Barroque in Brussels, and the Hong Kong Visual Arts Center. He has forthcoming exhibitions with galerie frank elbaz in Paris, and Karma in New York. His work is featured in the current edition of TWO x TWO, and is included in the permanent collection of the Dallas Museum of Art.
He would see faces in movies, on T.V., in magazines, and in books... He thought that some of these faces might be right for him... And through the years, by keeping an ideal facial structure fixed in his mind... Or somewhere in the back of his mind... That he might, by force of will, cause his face to approach those of his ideal... The change would be very subtle...It might take ten years or so... Gradually his face would change its’ shape... A more hooked nose...wider, thinner lips...beady eyes...a larger forehead. He imagined that this was an ability he shared with most other people... They had also molded their faced according to some ideal... Maybe they imagined that their new face would better Suit their personality... Or maybe they imagined that their Personality would be forced to change to fit the new appearance... This is why first impressions are often correct... Although some people might have made mistakes... They may have arrived at an appearance that bears no relationship to them... They may have picked an ideal appearance based on some childish Whim, or momentary impulse... Some may have gotten half-way There, and then changed their minds. He wonders if he too might have made a similar mistake.