Karma is pleased to present Shelf Life, an exhibition of nine paintings by Mathew Cerletty. This is the artist’s first solo presentation with the gallery.
These new pictures, each roughly equivalent in size, describe the micro and macro of a particular human existence that is as familiar as it is disconcertingly alien. Two celestial images form an overture to the domestic scenes that comprise the center of the exhibition. Goldilocks captures an earth that is subtly not our own hovering small and lonely in a vast starscape; in another, Forecast, a glyph-like storm cloud emits lightning and rain in a moody digital sky. The human activities on some earth and under that sky are the everyday things that make up a life as Cerletty conceives of it. What do we need to live? Heat, clothing, work, exercise, food, a good night’s sleep, and a place for the kids.
As he has for over a decade, Cerletty invests nearly generic items and ideas with psychological depth and painterly precision that calls to mind both Robert Gober and Rene Magritte. Each thing must also contend with the color space in which it exists, creating a liminal zone that is neither here nor there. And so two white hoodies, like siblings, float in a grey painting space in Blanks; Workforce has a printer as sleekly black as any killing machine dispensing a perfect color product into a void; gloves attached to emerald tubular arms surround a baroquely decorated soccer ball in Keeper; and Centerpiece tracks a pile of lemons sitting gingerly in a glass bowl in an even yellow field. Cerletty is nothing if not even. All things here in his heavens and earth are equal under his bright gaze.
Mathew Cerletty (b. 1980, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Solo exhibitions include: Office Baroque, Blum & Poe, Algus Greenspon, Team Gallery, and Rivington Arms. Recent group exhibitions include: Flatlands, Whitney Museum of American Art; Stay-at-Home Dad, with Julia Rommel at Standard, Oslo. Sputterances, Metro Pictures, New York, organized by Sanya Kantarovsky; Friend ? ?, Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich; The Painter of Modern Life curated by Bob Nickas, Anton Kern, New York; Before Midnight, Karma, Amagansett.
Karma has published a comprehensive monograph, also entitled Shelf Life, with an essay by Nicole Rudick, to accompany this exhibition.