Maynard Monrow

Untitled (Come Hell or High Water)


Hartford, CT

Monrow’s recent body of work consists of conceptual text-based reinventions of the still life/nature morte conventions of classical art. Informed by his interest in art history, critical theory, and culture, the series features bon mots and apothegms ranging in tone from the sardonic to the polemical. Playing off the staidness of traditional visual genres (a quality typically reflected in the titles of paintings, for example), the humor in his work stems in part from an implied attempt to visualize abstract ideas, paradoxes, and malapropisms. Ironically, this provocation of the imagination can foster a lyricism that feels true to the spirit of the conventions this series conceptually transforms. Contrasting a droll urbanity with earnest functionalism, these works are presented in a readymade industrial signage format (“café boards”) employing prefabricated plastic letters arrayed on corrugated felt. Each piece is framed in hand paintedwood for a formal finish.

Photograph by Taisuke Yamada
Photograph by Taisuke Yamada


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