Forms of Fiction
In “Forms of Fiction” at The Journal Gallery, Martin Oppel’s first New York solo exhibition, pictorial hierarchies give way to a fluid state of existence that shifts between fact and fantasy. Subjects are arranged, distorted, reduced, and abstracted (googly eyes optional) to suggest a current experience, where images and information appear to us in fast succession.
Oppel constructs a balance from what is often considered at odds. The popular design ideal “form follows function” is brought to an absurdist extreme in the “tipsy” form of his brass sculpture Bar (Abstraction), and the copper-plated incense holder that literally goes up in smoke. While many of the works, such as the gold-plated laptop stand, have a direct and transparent intended use that relies on the viewer’s participation, others appear as bent visions, images sliding from recognition to abstraction.
Amid scattered impressions of pop culture references and (sometimes) functional forms, the distinction between reality and abstraction breaks down. “Forms of Fiction” presents a world dominated by brief impressions. In this space, the medium, the image, and the memory or idea of the image coexist. Purpose and function are left open, defying definition, declassified.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Martin Oppel lives and works in Miami and New York. His work has been shown in group exhibitions nationally and internationally, including The 2nd Athens Biennial; "Weather Reports" at the Ecole Regionale des Beaux Arts, Rouen, France; "The Station" Curated by Shamim Momin and Nate Lowman, Miami, FL; "Kabul 3000" at Galeria Zero, Milan, Italy; "Think Warm: Miami Draws for You" at Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; "The Possibility of an Island" at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Florida; and "Miami in Transition" at Miami Art Museum. Oppel has had solo exhibitions at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris, France; and The Fireplace Project, New York, NY. His work was included in “Salad Days” in September 2010 at The Journal Gallery.