This Is Not A Hard Day
Monika Stricker
25 May - 22 June, 2019

There is an A4 photo printout on the wall of Monika’s studio: the countryside, a warm summer day, a hillside clearing. A picnic blanket is laid on green grass; atop the blanket a man, nude, is inverted. His body rests on his shoulders, his head bent to one side, back arched upwards. He has flung his legs over his body, forming a collapsed triangle. His toes grip the blanket. At the top of the triangle is his ass, pointing towards the sky. His penis nestles into the soft hollow of his thigh, cushioned by his spreading ballsack. Sunshine glances off his pale rear.


The sculptures in the exhibition start as wet clay, which is handled and shaped. At this point some clay sculptures are fired, whilst others are covered in plaster. Once the plaster sets, the clay is removed and often in this void more plaster is poured. Plaster into plaster, which is buffered by a fine powder of clay. The plaster is sometimes painted with pigmented water, which returns to the surface as a kind of blush. The cast is carefully excavated by chipping away the mold. In certain works these two forms, the interior cast and exterior mold (the protuberance and the vessel) become undifferentiated, collapsed and fused into a single form.


Within the paintings, the perspective is closely cropped. Painted on roughly head-sized canvases, one might wonder, from where am I looking? In some paintings the POV appears to be from below (from between the legs?), looking up at the foreshortened subject, now truncated. In certain works the crotch is articulated to a point of entropy, where layers of material or color build up into a tunnel or recess. The cock is a vehicle: both entry point and exit to the work. 

'The Nest,' 2019, oil on canvas
'Untitled,' 2019, fired clay, particle board, wood, metal, acrylic paint
'This Is Not A Hard Day,' 2019, plaster, pigment, ink
Frontal, 2019, oil on canvas
Untitled, 2019, plaster, pigment, ink, wood, metal, acrylic paint
Backwards, 2019, oil on canvas

Exhibition photography Ludovic Beillard