Maloney Fine Art is pleased to present Shadow Work, the gallery’s first exhibition of sculpture by Anthony James. The gallery will show selections of recent work: a highly polished aluminum totem ‘Untitled (Five Solid Circles),’ two polished steel “Shotgun Paintings” and ‘Birch 2012:24x48x12,’ a wall-mounted, double-mirrored sculpture.
Recently, Anthony James has focused his attention on a series of totemic aluminum sculptures, polished to a reflective luminosity, that play with the metaphysical polarities of presence and absence, being and nonbeing. ‘Untitled (Five Solid Circles)’ draws the viewer in with mirror-like surfaces that reflect or distort the viewer and the surroundings, suggesting the notion of continuous space and light.
Two reflective sculptures from the ‘Shotgun Painting’ series are a different form of transformation altogether, derived from assault with high-powered firearms, fired into steel, transforming the immaterial into the material. The finished works have a restrained, terrifying beauty, belying the violet nature of their creation.
The Celtics believed that in the birch groves, long associated with birth and rebirth, you could hear whispers of transformation and growth within the soul. For ‘Birch 2012, 24x48x12’ the artist cut birch tree branches and placed them in a polished steel and double-mirrored vitrine, lit by LED lights, transforming them into an infinite grove of birch trees, the symbol of new beginnings, purification and healing.
Anthony James, (b.1974) is a sculptor, painter, and performance artist. Perhaps best known for his work KΘ (2008), short for kalos thanatos (Greek for beautiful death), a double-mirrored vitrine containing a Ferrari F355 Spider that had been set on fire, James destroyed the external form to capture and magnify the terrifying beauty of its destruction. This was done as a performance in upstate New York to replicate the ancient Greek sacrificial offerings to Venus in a birch forest—birch being symbolic of new beginnings, purification and healing. “We destroy things of value so the gods will not destroy us.”
James studied at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London (1994-98) and has lived in New York, Munich and currently in Los Angeles. James has had solo exhibitions at Walter Storms Galerie, Munich; Brand New Gallery, Milan; Patrick Painter, Los Angeles; Gavlak, West Palm Beach; Kantor/Feuer, New York; and Apex Art, New York.
A monograph; Anthony James: Morphic Fields was published by Hatje Cantz on the occasion of his 2014 exhibition at walter storms galerie, Munich