Sean Kelly is pleased to announce Landon Metz’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. This new body of work reflects Metz's ongoing enquiry into the relationship between form and its absence. Paintings are the primary vehicle through which Metz invites a heightened awareness of presence, one mirrored in both the execution of his work and the viewing experience itself. His visual language is a mediation on the relativity of experience, emphasizing the connection between polarities: subject to object, figure to ground, and materiality to immateriality. The opening reception will take place on Wednesday, September 7, from 6-8 pm. The artist will be present.
Metz’s works both inhabit space and address the construction of space. His process, how the dye he uses responds to the conditions of its pour, the surface tension of the canvas, and the pigment’s absorption into the fibers of the canvas to produce an image, are as intimately considered as the installation of the works in the space itself.
A Different Kind of Paradise is as much a ritual space as it is a contemplative one. Visitors are greeted by a two-panel work flanking the entrance to the main gallery. Taking inspiration from a nijiriguchi, the small, square portal through which guests enter a traditional Japanese tea ceremony room, Metz has created an environment, without physically altering the gallery’s architecture. His installation centers on the relationship between the viewer and their surroundings, embodiment and opticality.
"I simply like the intimacy of small works and the full-body temporal experience of larger works; I feel the different scales have the potential to stimulate unique philosophical probes that build upon one another." - Landon Metz
The largest work on display is comprised of eight panels and a multi-colored palette. Metz has discussed this work’s format in relation to Monet’s Water Lilies, referencing their historical legacy and panoramic presentation, which engulfs the viewer in the work. This painting immerses the viewer within pictorial space, whereas the more intimate entry diptych incorporates the empty volume of the gallery’s passage into its composition.
Within the matrix of the show, the smallest panels, of which there are three, are counterpoised by their scale and material density. With these spatial and optical compositional strategies, Metz extends ideas that have long driven his practice. A Different Kind of Paradise offers viewers an intimate experience, providing moments of meditative respite and contemplation from the otherwise frenetic landscape of daily life.
"While there are conceptual and philosophical constants in my work, they’re designed with an awareness of variability, an allowance for flexibility and growth. It’s a delicate balance. You can’t rely on spontaneity entirely, but you can build a practice that allows the element of chance to intervene." - Landon Metz