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EXHIBITION DATES: Apr 28, 2016 - May 30, 2016

Sheridan loves a good smash-up: he pits his “painting-in-motion” animations against his paintings in the studio to see which ones “win.” Resulting revisions often generate a hybrid vigor between mediums, scrambling signals about how a work is made and the order of operations which made it, delivered with a sharp title.

Sheridan is concerned with the behavior of edges in movement as defined by the material viscosity of a gestural paint-stroke, ideas contained in drawn stencils, and optical color vibrations. His inquiries question how elegance is defined in his practice, specifically regarding conflict between the variable edges and thematic color systems used to generate meaning in his abstractions. If elegance is exemplified by
“cutting a good line,” then Elegant Brutality’s savagery erupts forth in textural color choices derived from flesh, money, video, hi-contrast black, white and chrome; all forced into heavily edited co-existence just as in contemporary life. Are our violence’s contained as we perpetuate them daily? In a world where identity is primary, where does that leave character? Is spirituality defined by codes and branding?

Elegant Brutality’s eight small paintings and four prints are derived from Sheridan’s video Follower (2016), in which swaggering paint strokes are surrounded by swarming planes of color. Stills from Follower were chosen as models to generate the constructivist expressionism of the paintings and prints. “Which of
Follower’s components are doing the following?” is a question complicated by the swagger’s chameleon-like changes under the influence of the planes. Three of the larger paintings (Walk-In Closet, Intersectional and Get a Grip, all 2016) are standalone works utilizing color systems in confrontationally plug-and-play styles intended to violate the viewers’ gaze while the works themselves are ogled as if watching a car crash, or perhaps pornography. Painting Screen Queen’s (2016) shattered grid maps the show as crime scene, underscoring the attack of color, textures and information in Sheridan’s paintings and videos.

In short, if one can comprehend a cell-phone-throwing Naomi Campbell from multiple points-of-view, one will likely appreciate the ramifications of the abstractions running rampant throughout Elegant Brutality.

Elegant Brutality | Matt Sheridan