In a time when there is enough well-executed but wholly unfelt abstraction around to constitute a new salon, which indeed it has effectively done, Todd Monaghan’s work is as refreshing as a shower on parched ground. It is work I first encountered about ten years ago when Monaghan’s mature style was already well developed. I paid studio visits and recorded an interview for a study on how a necessary spirit of truculent inventiveness could survive in the art world in a fat period, a time when relative prosperity was posing its own problems, when the War of the Isms was dodo-dead and no demanding new imperative has sprung up to replace it.
Monaghan’s working methods impressed me at once, namely his restlessness, his visible willingness to embrace chance, a recklessness which struck me as very like the modus operandi that the first generation of Ab Exes had taken from Surrealist Automatism. I liked the way he would work on the wall, then transfer the surface to the floor, then hock the piece back onto the wall again, dripping, gouging, pouring, incising, splashing, seemingly recklessly and, yes, perhaps actually so, but ending up with an image that seemed so controlled that he might as well have been a watchmaker meticulously assembling a timepiece.
~ Anthony Haden Guest
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Anthony M. Solomon, advisor to 3 presidents, former Chairman of PS1, Andy Warhol Foundation Board.
Featured in See/Me exhibit at The Louve Museum in Paris, France
“alienation of tm”
Permanent collection of Emory University, Woodruff Auditorium.
“American Beauty 911”