In the series Looking Through Pictures, artist Matt Lipps employs modernist sculptures, figure models, floral arrangements and objects in a range of theatrical montages. The ephemera is drawn from pages of black and white photography books, with the cut out negative space, from both this series and previous works, remaining part of Lipps’ compositions, painted in pastel shades that strips them of their traditional representational capacity. Lipps says: “Soothing shades of pink, blue lavender and silver reference modernism’s impenetrable veneer of colour-blocked surfaces and prompt consideration of our own nostalgic fascination with this history, as yesterday’s radical avant-garde becomes today’s fashion and lifestyle accoutrements.”
The abstract, painted backgrounds provide a sort-of architecture for each of Lipps’ compositions, alternative settings that bridge a gap between the modern and the postmodern, adding adornment and ambiguity, reframing the representation of historic works. The artist has long been interested in examining and conflating high and low culture, and has work in the permanent collection of LACMA, SFMoMA and The Saatchi Gallery amongst others.
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