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Matthew Day Jackson, "Terranaut" installation view. Via Peter Blum Gallery.
Matthew Day Jackson, Terranaut installation view. Via Peter Blum Gallery.

Matthew Day Jackson
Peter Blum Gallery, Chelsea - 526 West 29th Street, New York NY
12 September - 8 November 2008

Matthew Day Jackson's exhibition at the Peter Blum Gallery's Chelsea location resists palpable interpretation. Titled Terranaut, the melange of thematically related sculpture and paintings instills a conflated unease, a sense of simultaneous death and birth. One exits trying to remember the difference, his conceptions of finality and creation faltering.

Jackson works with found objects and recontextualized materials. Dead or discarded things -- tree branches, roots, car parts, old cloth -- are reborn as symbols of death. Dymaxion Skeleton, set off by itself in dim alcove, borrows Buckminster Fuller's design for a sculpture of a Dymaxion skull propped up by a skeleton of lithe wooden debris, lit from the floor of a close-fitting, coffin-size box with three mirrors on each interior wall. The whole effect is similar to a skeletal model used for demonstrations in anatomy lectures, using the discoveries from death to display the workings of life -- all in order to, of course, prevent death and prolong life.