Adler & Co. Gallery

New work by Anthony Mastromatteo –and– A Group Exhibition "Obsession! 09"

New work by Anthony Mastromatteo –and– A Group Exhibition "Obsession! 09"

San Francisco, CA USA Thursday, July 2, 2009Thursday, October 1, 2009
stick candy by wayne thiebaud

Wayne Thiebaud

Stick Candy, 1965


San Francisco, CA USA
Thursday, July 2, 2009Thursday, October 1, 2009

ADLER & Co. GALLERY of San Francisco is proud to announce two special exhibitions: ‘obsession is good…’ -Anthony Mastromatteo’s solo exhibition. Mastromatteo has been exploring obsession which has literally become the theme for his recent body of work –and his ideas and work were the catalyst for the Group show Obsession! 09 which includes: Philip Akkerman, Robert Bechtle, Damien Hirst, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Brice Marden, Takashi Murakami, Robert Rauschenberg, Lisa Yuskavage, Hilla Rebay, Michael Scoggins, Wayne Thiebaud, Stefana McClure, Sol Lewitt,, Alex Gingrow, Richard Pettibone, Ryan Brennan, Emily J. Wilson, Stacy Quackenbush, Jane Kim, Michael Rich, Kathryn Siegler, Joanne Mattera, Jeff Schaller, and Gina Werfel, and Mastromatteo. Both exhibitions opened July 2, 2009 and have been extended, and will run through Thursday October 1, 2009. Gallery hours: 10:30-5:30 Tuesday-Friday / Saturday 11:00-5:00

Obsession! 09 seeks to illustrate the all consuming passion [drive] to make [create] art. This inaugural exhibition of a decade long (once yearly) survey of obsession in art is a mosaic, with a binding theme. This installment explores the extraordinary focus, consuming and other wise which has, and continues to move artists to create. To illustrate further, rare and quintessentially emblematic works were curated to demonstrate specific artists ‘personal’ obsessions including: 2 Thiebaud candy stick paintings spanning four decades; 3 Johns After Holbein; 3 Murakami LV canvases; a Pettibone Warhol Marilyn; a Rauschenberg American Flag; a colored pencil Lichtenstein living room; 3 Akkerman eponymous portraits; a Hirst scull drawing.... etc. Installed with several unique components, the exhibition also boasts a narrative element –Thoughts on Obsession –epigrams written by artists and folks who enable, sustain and support artists to create (curators, collectors, writers, artist enablers) which are hung throughout the exhibit.

Solo show: Anthony Mastromatteo, b.1970, Akron, Ohio; 1988-1992: BA, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey; Fall 1996 - Art Student's League of New York - Mastromatteo begins to paint; 1997-2002: Water Street Atelier, Brooklyn, NY; 1992-1997 Christie's Auction House NYC - American Paintings, 19th Century European Paintings, Maritime Paintings and Objects.

Beyond the trick and the exquisite beauty and patina of Mastromatteo’s mystifyingly stunning painting, is work that is socially relevant, containing layers of ‘sub-textural’ narrative –should the viewer care to explore. Awash with Mastromatteo’s emblematic Vermeer-esque surfaces, if we choose to go beyond simple delight –explorations of obsession, commentaries on contemporary popular culture are revealed. Mastromatteo declares that American art, commerce, beauty and sex are inextricably intertwined, and that, perfection and ultimate beauty are out of reach.

Mastromatteo painstakingly seeks –crumpled, ragged, and torn comic book pages and paints intricately nuanced, haphazardly (seemingly) taped treatises of American culture –casting remarkable, arresting, and confounding shadows. He presents once prized morsels, now on the verge of discarded, and persuades and teases the viewer to see a sublime dizzying beauty. His defining aesthetic is the exploration of painting through the employment of unforgiving precision while simultaneously weaving narratives that tug at our memories, address our collective sensibility, and challenge, quite literally, our very sense of reality –delivering an unreality as actuality.

The pop artists of the 60' forward, vow, almost as a religion, to reinterpret and retranslate our childhood stuff –into a new vision. It is from this tradition that Mastromatteo pays homage to their legacy. He contemplates and re-spins perceptions of our heroes, legends, good and evil, pursuing, dissecting and challenging our purest childhood memories and holds up a mirror to prurient contemporary sentiments. Ultimately, Mastromatteo's process is one of deconstruction and reconstruction, and it is his intent to build a painting with a vision, which is at once, beautiful, intellectual and uncanny.

In the British newspaper the Telegraph, Stephen Hough’s blog provides engrossing narratives on Mastromatteo’s art: ‘It is as if Vermeer had decided to send away the woman (and her pearl earring) and stick a Superman comic-strip on his Delft wall instead’.... ‘Before we start (or need) to think about what the images actually mean, we are immediately intoxicated with the technique and precision….Hough exclaims ‘You find yourself standing in front of a canvas and debating whether the ripped tape which sticks the sheet to the wall (a transparent miracle) is real or painted; and so dizzying is this debate that, in the end, you feel like the painting’s ‘reality’ is more assured than your own.’


Please Direct Media inquiries to: Cynde Adler or Jim Adler 415.445.9900