David Kordansky Gallery was the selected place of an exhibition that displayed several art pieces by Robert Melee.
Melee showed works that transform elements of modernist and classical formalism into the building blocks for his own irreverent, kitsch-filled language.
Since the beginning of his career, Melee has sought to relocate the formal debates of the Western art historical tradition in the psychological realm of the suburban home. Whether he is honoring and disrupting the integrity of the picture plane, testing the limits of autobiographical reference, or telescoping Warhol’s pillage-and-burn regard for culture into an intricately-rendered personal iconography, Melee situates his practice in a place where high and low not only interact but cross-pollinate.
These works arose out of a desire to return to the solitude of the studio; after working on short films exclusively for a period in the 1990s, Melee wanted to make physical works that would encompass, abstractly, some of the issues he had tackled in the films: class, obsessive behaviors, nostalgia, and humor. Melee’s paintings can also be seen as sites where urban and suburban attitudes enter into both conflict and collaboration.
In his sculptures, Melee often combines disparate found elements––audio speakers, mannequins, appliances, sections of wall––with painted plaster that appears to be draped like fabric. In some works the plaster elements take on a primary role, and even overtake the found objects altogether. Included in this group is a sculpture in which a mannequin is covered with plaster and paint; here the human form, and its psychological implications, can also be traced back to Melee’s earlier film works. Others pieces are wall-based, and seem to resemble sculptures of paintings, their plaster forms like lengths of canvas that have been bunched, rolled or pinned.
Melee’s formal experimentation finds its psychological analogues in the blurring of beauty and grotesquerie, nostalgia and critique. In so doing, Melee’s work suggests an underground or alternative narrative of how and why visual ideas develop; because Melee’s language draws in such a large part from the private realm of domestic environments, his work elicits emotional responses that are both uncannily familiar and disarmingly strange.
Robert Melee has exhibited internationally in wide range of public and private institutions.
Meet also Colorful artworks by Holton Rower HERE!