Review: Matthew Sontheimer — Talley Dunn Gallery

[Originally published in Visual Art Source]

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Matthew Sontheimer’s fascination with language is obvious. What’s less fundamental is the insinuated pleasure he takes in the process of excavation. While his earlier work is pared down, his current show at Talley Dunn Gallery flares with more elaborate splendor. His newest works operate as manuscripts interlaced with images taken from pop culture. For instance, a familiar album cover from the bosa nova classic, “Girl from Ipanema,” is used in his work, “Shooting Games.”

He consistently delivers communiqués that delineate the truancy of both internal and external dialogues — including correspondences between the artist (and his art) and the viewer. Add to that the spliced internal moments in the artist’s decision-making process and you have an epistemological potboiler.

Sontheimer definitely explores the capital “c” “Conversation” and the convoluted manner in which thoughts are verbalized and redacted. However, he also shows viewers the process and places of mental hibernation. Put simply, he focuses on the spots where thoughts untwine. It’s a tangled romp. But Sontheimer is well up to the task. He delivers an intriguing and gently madcap caper that parses how we all operate — artists and civilians alike.

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