Matthew McCaslin’s playful sculptures pose serious questions: about the entanglement of technology and nature; the space humanity inhabits within that tangle; and the growing dependence of humanity on technology to organize our lives and maybe even rescue nature from our technological destruction of it. These questions lead into the sculptures’ deeper issues regarding comprehension of physical space, where our technology exists—where we exist—and metaphysical space, where our imaginations, for better or worse, exists.
McCaslin’s work immediately grabs our attention by the very familiarity of their materials: televisions; electric sockets; light bulbs; clocks; electric fans; cables and wires; stuff found in any household. There are also building materials such as aluminum beams and exit signs, the sort of things we see when walking by a construction site or through any hallway. The very ordinariness of these objects becomes stark, even bizarre, in their contradictory relationship with the scenes of nature or natural phenomena projected on the television screens often enmeshed in the composition. They appear easy to comprehend, so we look, maybe think we see and recognize, but then we look again because McCaslin pulls us back into the irresistibly compelling conundrums of the familiar and confounding, amusing and cautionary, graceful and awkward, all playing on us at the same time. McCaslin invites us to resolve these conflicts, if indeed we can, and enjoy ourselves while doing it.
McCaslin’s work has been exhibited regularly since earning his degree from New York’s Parsons The New School For Design in 1980, with solo shows in the United States and abroad including venues in the world’s major art centers of New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid, Turin and other cities in America and Europe. He has been featured in Art Forum, the New York Times, The New Yorker, ARTNews, the Los Angeles Times and other publications, and several of his exhibitions have been accompanied by significant catalogues. McCaslin’s work is represented in numerous museums in America and Europe, including the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, The Jewish Museum, New York, the Museum of Modern Art in Saint Etienne, France, and others.
Matthew McCaslin lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.