Helen Marten uses sculptural assemblage and video to reflect upon the relationship between two and three dimensional form. Taking as a starting point the contemporary image world, the flattened digital space through which associations between the disparate are often made, the objects that Marten finds, fabricates and constructs utilise this structure of networked images, consumption and communication while engaging with the potentially slippery nature of material properties, the tactility of form and sensory space.
Oreo St James, Marten’s current exhibition of new work at Sadie Coles HQ, interrogates the concept of the model as a basic means of organisation. Fully demonstrating this shift between two and three dimensional modes, the exhibition combines free-standing and wall-based sculptural assemblage with diagrammatic drawings and a series of screen-print on leather paintings. The exhibition is an alluring convergence of colours, textures and scale; oscillating between the flattened and the voluminous, form and line, ambiguity and clarity while the recurrent motif of the tabby cat circles and looks into the gallery space.
Helen Marten (b. 1985, Macclesfield) lives and works in London having studied at The Ruskin School, University of Oxford and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Recent solo exhibitions include No borders in a wok that can’t be crossed, CCS Bard Hessel Museum, New York; Plank Salad, Chisenhale Gallery, London; Evian Disease, Palais de Tokyo, Paris and Almost the Exact Shape of Florida, Kunsthalle Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland. Marten also exhibited as part of The Encyclopaedic Palace, 55th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale, Italy, 2013 and the 12th Lyon Biennale, 2013. The monograph Helen Marten was published in 2013 by JRP Ringier and includes texts by Ed Atkins, Michael Archer, Kit Grover, Flint Jamison and Richard Wentworth.
In 2014, Marten’s work will be included in High Performance, an exhibition of time-based media art since 1996 from the Julia Stoschek Collection at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe, Germany and Superficial Hygiene at De Hallen Haarlem, the Netherlands; a group show of young contemporary artists concerned with the shiny hyper-reality of contemporary imagery.
Oreo St James is at Sadie Coles HQ, 62 Kingly Street, London until 15 March.