NADA House 2023 Catalog
Oolong Gallery is pleased to participate in NADA House with the work of Matthew Taylor Williams. Consisting of two different works Push and Stock and Spool, Williams’ contribution to the exhibition deals with his ongoing interest in the work of art’s ability to make the world appear different than it actually is. In both works, the artist’s intervention with mundane material makes for an end result that exaggerates rather than transforms. Oftentimes, the works created regress back to their initial state and eschew material transformations that push forward or represent a linear form of progress.
In the case of Push, Williams creates an elongated shovel from a felled tree. An ironic take on the concept of growth, the shovel begins to look more like the tree it came from. The title Push is not only the bodily action extended by the shovel but a play on words for social forces that drive individuals in specific directions. It is this tension that Williams seeks to relish in his artistic practice: valorizing the destructive side of creative impulses.
Stock and Spool consists of aluminum foil and electrical wire taken closer to its initial state as a raw material than transformed into a new form. Unpacked, stripped, re-rolled, and re-bound, both the electrical wire and the aluminum foil take on the forms of industrial material as their desired outcome. The wire is bound back into a spool, while the foil is rolled back into a tube. The only difference is that instead of relying on industrial tools, the artist uses his own hands. Seeking to create a mundane form with relics of expression through the inability to perform a task precisely, Williams' work is inherently inefficient.
Using the formal vocabulary of sculpture, Matthew Taylor Williams seeks to deploy formal metaphors as aesthetic gestures. His work is primarily concerned with art’s decorative nature and how this has been instrumental in making the prevailing mode of production, consumption, communication, and administration more palatable. He lives and works in Los Angeles and received his MFA from UC San Diego in 2022. Williams work has been shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art San Diego, Oolong Gallery Solana Beach, Phase Gallery Los in Angeles, James Hill in San Clemente, and Almost Holden in Santa Monica. He was the 2021 recipient of the Russell Foundation Grant.
[install photos courtesy of Marc Grubstein]