PRESS RELEASES: Robert Melee

Unshamelessfulnessly

October 11th – November 15th, 2008

Andrew Kreps Gallery is pleased to present Robert Melee's Unshamelessfulnessly, the artist's fifth solo exhibition at the gallery. For this exhibition, Melee uses multimedia practices to build upon his work based on the suburban home by incorporating household appliances, craft, kitsch, and modern and classical art references- yielding a room full of objects, that are simultaneously psychological and nostalgic; beautiful, and abused.

Works featured in the show include painting and sculpture, often combining the two in a seamlessly bizarre conflation. A lamp, a classic plaster bust, or a campy decorative peacock, are broken and fragmented and draped with a frozen curtain that is dripping with layers of hi gloss, enamel paint. The multicolored and vibrant palette is topped with a black glob of paint, destroying the optimistic curtain like a flow of tar. Two new life-sized figurative sculptures defy gravity, or re-direct it – stacked up, dripping down, nailed across, the works are multivalent and appear dynamically static. But while the works visually evoke themes of the grotesque, they simultaneously reference classical sculpture as well as modern painting.

Anti-Inter Shamelessness Substitution, 2008, one of the largest works in the exhibition features one of the artist’s signature bottle cap paintings, (beer bottle caps embedded in plaster and painted with layers of enamel) that hugs the silhouette of a 70’s stove, referencing the nostalgic and pop art. The painting element stands free, and is visible from both sides; while it cross-sections the stove, it also leans on the appliance, and draws itself in. The piece itself has a unique dynamism, pushing and pulling, again, between painting and sculpture, until finally, it finds its resting place where the boundaries between the mediums are erased.

Within the exhibition Unshamelessfulnessly, a new installation has been produced entitled Andrew Kreps Office, in which the artist continues to investigate and challenge mundane architecture- attempting to glamorize the quotidian (a rec room, a basement, and here, the office) with low budget building materials. Melee’s installations are often topped with his obsessive interpretation of classic marbleizing, resulting in a ridiculously strange and claustrophobic environment. A drop ceiling is hung with these marbleized panels, and the walls are hung with reproductions of the gallery artist’s works that are obscured and “marbleized” to match the interiors new décor.

Robert Melee has shown extensively internationally, having solo shows at both White Cube and Sutton Lane in London. And he has exhibited nationally at the Sculpture Center, the New Museum and PS 1, as well as the Corcoran and Milwaukee Art Museums. Robert will be exhibiting two large-scale bronze sculptures at the upcoming Frieze Art Fair Sculpture Park, and is working on a one-person exhibition at David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles in 2009.

In Between False Comforts

October 13 - November 12


Andrew Kreps Gallery is pleased to present Robert Melee's In Between False Comforts, the artist's fourth solo exhibition at the gallery. For this exhibition Melee builds upon his previous investigations of the suburban home, yet by limiting himself to grayscale, has yielded a room full of objects that are simultaneously psychological and nostalgic.

For In Between False Comforts Melee has covered the floor in his signature "marbleized" wood paneling and hung three of his plaster and enamel coated curtain paintings, all in black, white, and gray. Melee describes "marbleization" as an effect in which the artist simultaneously channels Martha Stewart and Jackson Pollack. Melee has also created large grayscale versions of his bottle cap paintings: bottle caps nailed to wood panels in a grid, then coated repeatedly in plaster, and finally covered in high-gloss enamel paint. Masquerading as minimalism and op-art, these works play with the boundaries between painting and sculpture.

Works reflecting the artist's continued interest in human behavior have also been included in the show. Throughout his career Melee has shot over thirty short videos, always focusing on the human body, which is often transformed or in drag. Recently, he created a dance performance with a group of five dancers at Judson Church, and in 2005 curated a two-night event at The Kitchen where he invited nine performers to perform for eight minutes each, on a stage Melee designed. The event also included a live "marbleization" of Melee's mother.

The figures that Melee has created for In Between False Comforts add a hauntingly grotesque presence to the installation. By coating mannequins in canvas, then plaster and enamel paint these figures become imposing, featureless masses. The figures are spread throughout the space, in various positions and scales (child and adult), creating a silent dialogue between Melee's invented characters.

The exhibition will be on view from October 13th November 12th, 2005. A reception, which will feature a performance by Julie Atlas Muz, will be held for the artist at the gallery on October 13th from 6 - 8 PM at 558 West 21st St., New York City. For information call 212-741-8849. Robert Melee's Stage Works and Substitutions will be on view at Sutton Lane Gallery in London from October 18th - November 18th, 2005.

You Me and Her

September 5-October 5, 2002

Andrew Kreps Gallery is pleased to present You Me and Her, Robert Melee's third solo exhibition at the gallery. Melee has previously exhibited works using various mediums such as film, video, photography, sculpture and painting. This exhibition seeks to further Melee's investigation of the dynamics and aesthetics of the American suburban home. The exhibition will divide the gallery into three spaces: The Gallery, The Viewing Room,
and The Backroom.

During the opening reception the artistís mother will be on display; referencing previous work. After the reception, this performance will be replayed on a video monitor, in place of Melee's mother.

The first space, The Gallery, contains works painted in colors of yellow and white. This work, "Substitute Homage Substitution," references Josef Albers "Homage to a Square."

The second space, The Viewing Room, is lit with red light and features two videos, "You Me and Her" and "Popcorn Mommy." The first video work challenges the notion of intimacy, the second depicts an interaction between the artist and his mother that is simultaneously disturbing and humorous.

The third space, The Backroom, is completely covered from floor to ceiling in an alternating pattern of fake wood paneling and marbleized paint. Everything in this room is color coordinated in blue, green, and white. On display, there will be a curtain sculpture, and a circular home entertainment unit which holds vintage televisions
featuring five new silent video works and photographic stills.

This exhibition further develops the concept "Baloneyism." The exhibition will be on view from September 5 to October 5, 2002. A reception will be held for the artist in the gallery on September 5 from 6-8 PM at 516 West 20th St., New York City. For information call 212-741-8849. Andrew Kreps Gallery would like to thank Sony Electronics for their generous support.

 

Unit

March 25-April 29, 2000

Andrew Kreps Gallery is pleased to announce Robert Melee's second solo show entitled Unit at the new location.

Unit, is an oversized entertainment module (or unit), hand crafted and designed by Melee. Enameled in green and adorned with pressed wood paneling, this piece, 10' x 16' contains 14 televisions and numerous framed photographs. Each of the TVs features its own short film and the photographs serve as snapshots. These nostalgic films, primarily produced as B/W Super 8 and then transferred to video, are all silent, emulating a home movie format. Most of movies star the artist's mother. "Melee's short movies are immediate and caricatured. The final products are quick, blurry and out of focus, notes of something that has been deeply experienced and seriously examined". (Goran Tomcic)

The exhibition will be on view from March 25 - April 29 2000. A reception will be held for the artist in the gallery on March 25 from 6-8 PM at the new location 518 West 20th St. New York City. For information call 212-741-8849