One of the most exciting sculptors working today, Matthew Monahan uses unconventional pedestrian materials—whose surfaces are manipulated with glitter, wax and spray paint to achieve the effects of aged bronze and other metals—to create monumentally scaled figurative sculptures. The bodies of his sculptural heroes and heroines appear to have been built from unmatched spare parts. With wires and strapping, each section is precariously tethered to the whole. As such, Monahan’s sculptures seem to hover in a state of fleeting existence, projecting the illusion that the forces of nature could turn them back into unrecognizable rubble at any moment. His works succeed in engaging the viewer in a dialogue between contemporary and ancient; alien and disparate parts. His fragmented figures—with their active postures and facial expressions—convey the struggles of coming into existence in the present moment while carrying a sense of a past long gone.

Matthew Monahan’s solo exhibition is on view at the Contemporary Arts Center through October 30, 2011.

An example of the sculptors work after the leap.

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