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Robert Melee, Unshamelessfulnessly

Andrew Kreps Gallery
525 West 22nd Street, 212-741-8849
October 11 - November 15, 2008
Reception: Saturday, October 11, 6 - 8 PM
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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.
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