Matthew Anthony Stokes

Camouflage

May 20 – July 8, 2017

Matthew Stokes
Cree, 2016
India ink, vinyl paint, earth on canvas glued to foam core and alder panel
48h x 50w in
MS004
Matthew Stokes
North No 2, 2017
Vinyl paint, India ink, plant dyes, earth on canvas
62h x 46w in
MS013
North No1
Matthew Stokes
North No 1, 2017
India ink, charcoal, vinyl paint, earth, pollen and sap on canvas
61h x 47w in
MS005
Cushing
Matthew Stokes
Cushing, 2017
India ink, charcoal, earth and screen ink on canvas on foaming panel
62 h x 40 w in
MS012
Foreland by Matthew Anthony Stokes
Matthew Stokes
Foreland, 2017
Acrylic and screen ink on canvas
57h x 90w in
MS011
Matthew Stokes
Brough, 2016
India ink, charcoal, earth, vinyl paint, sap on canvas glued to foam core and alder panel
58h x 40w in
MS003
Matthew Stokes
Hinde, 2016
Screen ink and vinyl paint on canvas
72h x 48w in
MS008
Matthew Stokes
Jager, 2016
Screen ink and vinyl paint on canvas
72h x 48w in
MS007
Matthew Stokes
Moon Man Poet shirt, 1990
Mixed media
57 x 22 x 5 in
MS055
Matthew Stokes
Mojave Song #1, 2016
India ink, vinyl paint, earth on canvas
57h x 145w in
MS001
Matthew Stokes
Assiniboine, 2017
India ink, charcoal, earth on canvas glued to foam core and alder panel
66h x 48w in
MS002
Teton
Matthew Stokes
Teton, 2015
India ink, charcoal, earth, screen ink, vinyl paint, pollen on canvas glued to foam core panels
40 h x 99 w in
MS020
Matthew Stokes
Tree Song, 2016-2017
India ink and chalk on canvas
99h x 61w in
MS016
Matthew Stokes
QUEX III, 2017
Pelt and mixed media with photo on acetate
38 h x 20 w in
MS024
Matthew Stokes
Pima, 2017
Vinyl paint and screen paint on paper
65 h x 38 1/4w in
MS014
Rains
Matthew Stokes
Rains, 2016
India ink, vinyl paint on blotting paper
44 h x 30 w in
MS015
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No.18, 1990
MS048
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No.17, 1990
MS047
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No.16, 1990
16h x 13w in
MS046
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No.15, 1990
MS045
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No. 14, 1990
MS044
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No.13, 1991
MS043
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No.12, 1992
20 1/2h x 16 1/2w in
MS042
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No. 11, 1994
MS041
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No.10, 1994
16 1/2h x 13w in
MS040
MAQUETTE No 9
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No. 9, 1994
MS039
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No.8, 1994
9h x 17w in
MS038
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No.7, 1994
9h x 17w in
MS037
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No.6, 1994
13 1/4h x 12w in
MS036
MAQUETTE No 5
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No. 5, 1994
MS035
maquette No 4
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No. 4, 1994
MS034
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No.19, 1990
20 3/4h x 17w in
MS049
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No.20, 1990
20 3/4h x 17w in
MS050
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No.21, 1990
23 1/2h x 27w in
MS051
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No.22, 1990
16 1/2h x 12 1/2w in
MS052
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE No. 23, 1990
MS053
Matthew Stokes
MAQUETTE COSTUME From 'Whale' Stokes.Hendrikx, 1994
84 x 21 x 5 in
MS056

Press Release

(Los Angeles, CA) - DENK is pleased to announce the opening of Camouflage, the gallery's first solo exhibition of recent works by English-born, Los Angeles-based artist Matthew Anthony Stokes. A self-taught abstract painter, Stokes has cultivated his aesthetic through a unique multi-disciplinary background in performance, corporeal dramaturgy, dance, sculpture, assemblage, film, photography, and poetry. His monochromatic compositions are executed in India ink, vinyl paint, charcoal, and chalk, on raw, unprimed canvas and convey rather than conceal something of the physicality of their materials and application. Seemingly effortless in the ease and concision of their rendering, the works draw from the spontaneity of nature, referencing its landscapes and shifting animate forms.

Stokes was a co-founding member of MAQUETTE (1989-1998), an experimental theater and performance art company based initially in Kent, England and later Brussels, Belgium. In collaboration with artists Robert Bennett, Dirk Hendrikx, Guillaume Panneau and Ulrike Koennecke, Stokes cultivated a unique and physically embodied approach to image production and the staging of tableaux, using MAQUETTE as a platform for the activation of ephemeral performative sculpture. The three-dimensional relics of these "unveilings" - objects, costumes, sets, and masks - were all created by the collective and animated through their performances. As inhabitable sculptures and worthy artworks in and of themselves, the objects and environments were brought to life through fleeting periods of physical tenancy. The resulting performances, at times live, were documented through 16 mm or 35 mm film, photographs, and video.

Haunting and psychologically evocative, MAQUETTE's penchant for escapist poetics tapped into an alternative reality, one of embodied deliberateness and temporal arrest: a surreal and timeless plane. It also shared something of other art historical and cultural antecedents, like the mythic dramatizations of Joseph Beuys, the sculptural combines of Robert Rauschenberg, and the free association and anti-establishment ethos of DADA and DIY punk. The company, despite its critical acclaim, defected in 1998, at which time Stokes and Hendrikx decided to bury the company's sculptural props and costumes in the Belgian countryside, planning to exhume them in 2020. The symbolic burial and subterranean pause became a fitting physical bookend to MAQUETTE's sculptural and performative oeuvre. Disentombed, their artifacts, films, and photographs will be collectively revisited in the not so distant future.

Camouflage will include photographic stills from MAQUETTE's archive, which, when viewed alongside Stokes' paintings, reveal an aesthetic continuity shared by both projects, despite their independence. A material rawness in the current works, evident in the tactility and "lived in" textures of their surfaces, contributes to the feeling of gestural imminence and physical latency; the body is never far from these works. Often painting out of doors, Stokes encourages the traces of nature and time to remain, allowing sediment and dust, for instance, to stay trapped within the paint. Stokes' approach to painting is led by an unfeigned intuitive immersion, offering an avowal of his presence as its maker rather than its disguise. This disarming immediacy evinces something of the performative sculptural legacy of MAQUETTE.

 

ABOUT MATTHEW ANTHONY STOKES

Matthew Anthony Stokes was born in Margate, England in 1964, and has been drawing, painting and writing poetry since his early childhood.

Following several years in Paris as students of Étienne Decroux (and actors with Theatre de l’Ange Fou – Compagnie Steve Wasson/Corrine Soum) Matthew Anthony Stokes co-founded the MAQUETTE Theatre Company in September 1989 with artists Robert Bennett, Dirk Hendrikx, Guillaume Panneau and Ulrike Koennecke.

MAQUETTE was influenced from the outset by Dada; punk; street theater; amateur, poor and ‘outsider’ arts; early film and photoplay; automata - and by ancient and ethnological ‘primitive’ arts. Its experimental body of work took form as a consecutive series of recorded performances, live “unveilings,” texts, drawings, sculptural exhibits, sound recordings and, most important to the collective, an archive of hundreds of outer-stellar photographs and a dozen short films.

The work culminated in a series of gallery exhibitions, most notably in the Museum of Modern Art in Gent (SMAK, 1997) and in the Museum of Art in Kortrijk (Belgium 1998). Also in 1998, the silent film Adrift on the Remains of the Grand Piano (live musical composition by AKA Moon) was featured as part of the Brussels Festival of Art.

In 1999, Stokes returned to England. He went on to study architecture, received his degree from the University of Greenwich and his diploma from the University of Cambridge in 2005. After a couple of years at Foster and Partners in London, Stokes moved to Los Angeles and worked as in-house architectural / furniture designer with Martyn Lawrence Bullard DesignHe currently resides in LA and is in-house architectural/furniture designer with Robbin Hayne Architects and WIGWAM Design.

ABOUT DENK GALLERY
Founded in 2017 DENK's mission is to present a diverse program featuring a range of local and international contemporary artists working across a wide range of mediums. The gallery's goal is to curate a series of engaging exhibitions by providing a space that will allow artists the opportunity to develop their own concepts and visions and have them realized. DENK looks to engage the community through multiple platforms, including gallery publications and performances as well as regular talks with artists and curators in the space.

Please contact Carl Berg at the gallery at carl@denkgalllery.com for further information
 

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