New York, NY – April 17, 2018 – Rental Gallery is pleased to present new work by Brooklyn-based artist Oliver Clegg for his first solo exhibition in New York City, on the ground floor of the Metal Shutter Houses project. Euclid’s Porsche is comprised of 150 paintings of Happy Meal Toys sourced from eBay seller photographs found online. The opening reception will be on Tuesday, May 1 from 6 to 8pm.
The artist recreates, as oil paintings, the photos eBay sellers take of their objects, honoring the original size, composition, and color of the found image. By subverting the intent of these amateur photographers—by elevating their photographs to art—the artist adds value to their often nonchalant attempts to make a sale. These paintings are intimate and wistful, reflecting the sentimental affection we have for seemingly worthless plastic we valued as children.
British-born Clegg is a conceptual artist who mines the fertile history of the past, particularly found objects, and seeks to imbue these objects with some of their original magic. His work is humorously melancholic, exposing our memories and discarded ephemera as potential sources of symbolism. This exhibition casts the internet as an open source photography album where everyone can mine memories that aren’t their own.
The exhibition is curated by Adam Cohen, who bought Oliver Clegg’s entire MFA degree show in 2005, becoming his first collector. With an abundance of Oliver’s work, and the artist spontaneously decamping to the South West of England, the pair lost touch but reconnected a few years ago when Oliver substituted Wellington boots for sneakers and moved to New York. Outside NADA New York, Adam ran into his friend and artist Darren Bader who encouraged his walking partner Oliver that “Adam is one of the nicest people in the art world." A studio visit was arranged and a subsequent invitation by Rental Gallery to present the work during Frieze seemed tailor-made – the connection reestablished.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue of the complete works with a text by Darren Bader that offers over a hundred and twenty working titles for the show.
Oliver Clegg has exhibited extensively since graduating in 2005 and has been presented at the Prague, Busan and Venice Biennales as well as showing in the Reykjavik Museum of Modern art, Dox Centre for thecontemporary Art and The Saatchi gallery. Anomie has recently published his first comprehensive monograph that was launched at PS1 MoMa in December 2017. His work is in various notable private and public collections.
Adam Cohen is a dealer at Gagosian Gallery, where he has worked for the past 13 years.
Rental Gallery began in 2004 in Los Angeles as a way to bridge the New York and West Coast Art communities, as well as to provide a venue for Flexible and experimental programming, both by local curators and gallerist, and those from out of town. For more information, please visit www.rentalgallery.us.
This exhibition will be on view from May 1-25 at 524 West 19th Street in New York, Tuesday through Friday 10am –6pm, Saturday noon – 5pm, and by appointment. The exhibition space is the ground floor of the Metal Shutter Houses project designed by prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban.
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