Pared: Matthew Deleget and Ellen Nagel
U·turn Art Space
2159 Central Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45214
April 2-30, 2011
Opening: Saturday, April 2, 7-10pm
For Pared, U·turn Art Space presents works by Matthew Deleget and Ellen Nagel that consider reduction as a maneuver in painting, sculpture throughout art history. Deleget presents a series of monochrome works on panel, along with a long-term and ongoing conceptual project based in the collection of artist catalogues that have been purchased at deeply discounted prices. Nagel has created a number of brand new sculptural installations for the exhibition. Together, Deleget’s and Nagel’s work continues a line of inquiry into reduction and restraint in which U·turn is persistently invested.
Deleget’s I Love You (2007) is comprised of solidly colored plastic shopping bags that have been mounted onto nine panels. I Love You was inspired by The Beatles song All Together Now (also, a humorous reference to collaboration). In the song, Paul McCartney sings the lines, “black, white, green, red — can I take my friend to bed? — pink, brown, yellow, orange, blue — I love you.” Deleget has quoted McCartney directly, with each of the nine panels corresponding to the mentioned colors and installed in the order found in the song. Deleget uses McCartney’s lyrics to connect his practice of abstraction to unexpected cultural points of reference.
Deleget also presents a collection of books as art objects. All of the books are about living abstract artists—his inspirations—and were purchased at major art museums in New York City at heavily discounted prices. While his works on panel bespeak to Deleget’s own love and commitment to abstract art, this project questions whether the artists and their ideas have been discounted with the prices of these books.
Ellen Nagel’s assemblage sculptures are experiments in elegant restraint. Nagel creates art experiences that occupy the same space as the viewer, at approximately the same scale of the viewer. The avatars she constructs bring together found objects from home life (clothing, shopping bags), the studio (paint, drawing boards) and the cleanly institutional (modular office furniture). While there may be any number of elements in each work, their overall effect is one of absolute subtlety. As freestanding, collaged objects, they call attention to their own physical features: rigidity and slackness, buoyancy and gravity, tension and repose. She balances seemingly incidental elements with formalist choices that are precise and considered. Around their edges, her works evoke myth and metaphor as monuments to the humble and the heroic. Ultimately, they evidence the culture(s) surrounding their making.
Matthew Deleget is an abstract painter, curator, and writer. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally, including solo and group exhibitions in Europe, Asia, and Australia. He is a member of American Abstract Artists, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation’s Artist Advisory Committee, and the board of The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. Matthew has received awards from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, Brooklyn Arts Council, and The Golden Rule Foundation, and his work has been reviewed in The New York Times, Flash Art, Artnet Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Basler Zeitung, among others.
In 2003, Deleget founded MINUS SPACE (www.minusspace.com), a platform for reductive art on the international level based in Brooklyn, NY. MINUS SPACE’s web site is used by more than 800 people daily from 150 countries worldwide. Deleget has also organized more than two dozen solo and group exhibitions at both MINUS SPACE’s gallery in the Gowanus, Brooklyn, as well as other collaborating venues on the national and international levels. MINUS SPACE exhibitions have been reviewed in Art in America, Artnet Magazine, ArtNews, The Brooklyn Rail, Houston Public Radio, Huffington Post, The New Criterion, New York Magazine, NYFA Current, New York Sun, Time Out New York, and Village Voice, among others.
Deleget holds an MFA in Painting and an MS in Theory, Criticism and History of Art, Design and Architecture from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. He holds a BA in Art and German from Wabash College, Crawfordsville, IN. He lives with his wife, artist Rossana Martinez, and son in Brooklyn, NY.
Ellen Nagel is a Cincinnati native, where she continues to live and work. She received a BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in 2010. Nagel appeared in U·turn Art Space’s first exhibition Brought To You By, and the gallery collective immediately sought a reprisal of Nagel’s work in a more ambitious installation. Nagel has previous participated in multiple exhibitions at the Art Academy’s Chidlaw Gallery. In 2010, she was one of several artists to create a site-specific installation in the Cincinnati Art Museum. Entitled Let Fall, the interactive work invited viewers to look behind heavy black curtains to experience a series of post-minimal painted shapes.
U·turn Art Space
U·turn Art Space is a collective-run alternative arts space that was initiated in fall 2009. The U·turn Art Space collective is comprised of five Cincinnati-based artists: Molly Donnermeyer, Matt Morris, Patricia Murphy, Zach Rawe and Eric Ruschman. With special interests in installation art and conceptual art practices, U·turn nonetheless exhibits artists with diverse aesthetics that are based in the Cincinnati region, as well as across the world, including (to date) Berlin, Germany; Chicago, IL; London, England; Miami, FL; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; and San Diego, CA. Its goal is to bring shows into Cincinnati that are relevant; that provide an opportunity for discourse, ideas, and play to be forced together, awkwardly or elegantly, and offer itself to a viewing audience. Along with art exhibitions, U·turn hosts a range of accompanying readings, performances and events that raise probing questions and plural perspectives. U·turn’s efforts are intended for audiences in the surrounding Brighton district, Cincinnati at large and the whole of the Midwest.
Regular gallery hours are on Saturdays, 12-4 pm, and by appointment.
I Love You, 2007
Used plastic shopping bags in 9 colors mounted on 9 panels