Rules Forever (Part II): Matthew Stone

2 - 30 July 2011

UNION is delighted to present Rules Forever (Part II), the second part of two solo exhibitions featuring new works by Matthew Stone.

In Stone's last exhibition at Union Gallery Forever Rules (Part I), Stone presented a single sculpture in the center of the gallery and 3 photo-collage works on wood. The sculpture and also main focus of the exhibition was an oak and birch floor-based sculpture, a structure entirely hand built by the artist, titled “Forever Rules”. The sculpture was formed in part by an open sided, oak dodecahedron, its pentagonal facets creating a complex, net-like form. In Plato's divine geometry, the dodecahedron is described as a perfect solid. Historically it has been attached to the concept of a fifth element, namely Ether (Aether) or Universe. It has represented the perfect mediation of the infinite and the finite, the sphere and the cube.

For his second part exhibition Rules Forever (Part II), Stone will continue honoring Plato and will present a much larger sculptural element comprising four oak structures, but instead of a large photographic nude, cut into hundreds of wooden squares that passes through the structure, as in the show before, the artist has decided to cluster the structure with photographic collages, printed directly onto birch plywood. These digitally collaged configurations of torso and limb, show bodies intertwined and connected. Unmistakable as Stone's work, the gestures and classical poses of his languorous figures are intersected by areas of new colour, cut, if only to reconnect, along unnatural, directional and geometric bias.

On the gallery walls Stone is presenting a new set of photographic images, configurations of bodies intersected by geometric forms. Positioned neither as classicist nor futurist, he maintains a commitment to history, learning, whilst attempting to shape and commandeer an optimist's future. Stone proposes a new idealism for the twenty first century, that relies on the co-existence of un-compromised visions and the implication of multidimensional ideologies. With a history of building art as a collaborative effort, an open conversation and a spiritual belief, his social-sculptures function as poetic diagrams of a working practice. The works crystallise, without ever simplifying, the ordered chaos of human motion.

Matthew Stone is an artist and shaman. These two interconnected roles are defined by his activities as photographer, sculptor, performer, curator, writer, musician, Optimist, and cultural provocateur. Stone's work and thinking goes far beyond the remit of his art, and his power of existence is recreating the role of the artist in the 21st century. Recognising this, The Sunday Times recently placed him at number one in the arts section of their “Power players under 30” list. He has exhibited at Tate Britain, The Baltic, The ICA & The Royal Academy. Stone's personal philosophy of 'Optimism as Cultural Rebellion", has been defined as an intellectual antidote to a “post-modern” nihilistic paralysis.