SELECTED WORKS BY Nathan Mabry
A Very Touching Moment (Pitching A Tent) (and 2 details)
Steel, coral, silver and turquoise
121.9 x 76.2 x 38 cm
Through their ethnological pastiche, Nathan Mabryâ€™s work combines references to art history, South American artefacts, and popular culture, to create provocative monuments entwining high culture, primitive ritual, and contemporary experience. In A Very Touching Moment (Pitching A Tent), Mabryâ€™s figure â€“ inspired by Pre-Columbian Moche sculpture, and suggestive of Rodinâ€™s The Kiss â€“ sits as a grotesque fertility totem atop a plinth reminiscent of the work of John McCracken or Donald Judd. Through juxtaposing these disparate forms, Mabry points to a totemic ascendancy, tracing a narrative lineage between ancient liturgy and modern day systems of museological value.
In Your Face: 13, 14, 15
C-print mounted on sintra
76.2 x 76.2 cm each
Nathan Mabryâ€™s In Your Face series takes as its subject Aristide Mailolâ€™s 1937 sculpture La Montagne. Photographed at The Sculpture Center in Cleveland, Ohio, this famous work is emblematic of the ideological coalescence between art, artifice, and nature. Shrouding the figure with a variety of novelty masks, Mabry appropriates the monument as a plinth for his own intervention. Literally using art history as a base for slap-stick humour, Mabry levels cultural hierarchy, disguising modern masterpiece as clownish impostor.
A Very Touching Moment (?)
Cast bronze and welded sheet bronze
167.6 x 66 x 132.1 cm
Like a DJ sampling music to define his own sound, Nathan Mabry openly borrows references from both modern and antiquated cultures to contrive sculptures that transcend time and place; falsifying a â€˜super historyâ€™ tracing art evolution from its primal beginning to its portentous future. Mabryâ€™s A Very Touching Moment (?) operates as a â€˜cover versionâ€™ of Rodin, the tribal figure seated in the famous pose of contemplation. Both atavistic and cartoon-like, the totem is strangely retro-futuristic; an idea reflected in its plinth, which is a replica of Tony Smithâ€™s Playground (1962).