Two American artists move to Amsterdam to make art. No, it is not the beginning of a joke – or a joke at all for that matter – but the topic of the latest joined exhibition to take place at Berlin’s JR Gallery. It is Mando Marie and Hyland Mather who will be contributing their distinct and versatile works form of stencil imagery and geometric assemblages. In their practice, they tackle and explore a variety of topics ranging from children and their imaginative works to the art of “lost objects” and the complex meanings they keep hidden. The viewers are thus invited to solve the enigmas behind the works before them, or even to invent their own, stimulated by the visual input based in an urban environment.
Mando Marie – Make Believe
Previously known under the name Amanda Marie, Mando Marie is one of the few female representatives within the realm of male-dominated stencil art. Usually depicting children and young adults, sometimes in combination with animals, she uses nostalgic, almost retro colors and vintage sewing patterns as backgrounds of her scenery which recall storybooks and illustrated fairytales. Both eerie and comforting, Mando Marie’s works, both those on paper and canvas and the murals, depict intriguing situations and make us wonder about the narrative she’s trying to express, and if there’s a way for us to relate to her adolescent subjects. In the world of stencils, her pieces have managed to establish their own original genre, as they become instantly recognizable – similarly to those of other two fellow female stencil artists, Swoon and AIKO.
Hyland Mather – Receiver
Continuing the remarkable legacy of assemblage, Hyland Mather creates art from found objects, “the mess” he picks up from the city streets, the trash, nearby fields and forests in order to give it a new life, and a new context. Also known as O-X, the artist relies on coincidence, chance encounters and all the surprises that wandering around can bring him, after which he creates artworks of geometric abstraction that sometimes grow as big as proper installations. In his own way, Hyland Mather is retro too, as his beautifully assembled pieces are composed of a variety of elements, colors, shapes. Aesthetically, they might even be perfect – the artist surely has a good eye for layouts. They create conversations between the viewers, their creator, as well as the people living in the city, with whom these found objects have a rich history and connection.
Make Believe and Receiver at JR Gallery Berlin
On separate, elaborate levels, the two artists talk about the playful aspects of the urban environment and all its creative possibilities. Whether it’s stencils or assemblage, their splendour is unambiguous and inspiring, as it draws us in with all its glory. The exhibitions of works by Mando Marie and Hyland Mather, Make Believe and Receiver respectively, will be on view at Berlin’s JR Gallery from June 4 through July 7, 2016. The opening reception will be held on June 4, from 6pm to 9pm in Lützowstraße 20.