Sean Slemon: The Sun Stands Still

December 1, 2011- January 7, 2012



Magnan Metz Gallery is pleased to announce The Sun Stands Still, an exhibition of new and recent work by the young, South African-born, Brooklyn-based artist Sean Slemon. On view will be a series of life-size sculptures alongside drawings, photographs, and wall-mounted constructions created from natural materials. 


The Sun Stands Still envisions a scenario where the sun could be slowed, or stopped entirely, creating shadows that are physically tangible. This thought experiment intends to illustrate resources in the public sphere that are not easily quantified, such as viewing light as a resource and the individual’s proximity to the natural world. Timed to include the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, The Sun Stands Still will address the politics of access to these resources and serve as a thesis for a potential public project to raise attention to these issues among the public at large. 


Making their debut are the Shadow (pictured) series of life-size sculptures of the artist’s shadow rendered in polymer gypsum, foam, and steel, and finished to appear as though carved from marble. A physical rendering of intangible space, the work deftly illustrates an individual’s ability to passively consume a resource and simultaneously, effortlessly, produce a product. 


The notion of possession and commodification of the natural is echoed in Pine Tree, a simulacra of the namesake tree carved and sanded from finished pine wood 2x4 studs to resemble their source. Seated at the rear of the gallery, opposite the window’s street view, Pine Tree underscores the delineation between the natural and possessed. It is complimented by Goods for Me, in which Slemon has deconstructed a fallen peach tree and recreated it within a series of glass and wood cases. Flattened, and with its various components (leaves, branches, trunk, roots, and soil) arranged from top to bottom, the tree will gradually and continually decay within the vitrine, the work is equally reminiscent of museum displays and flat panel television screens - effectively becoming a sort of organic time-based multimedia work. 

The Sun Stands Still will also feature a large number of new drawings, photographs, and mixed-media two dimensional works rendered in natural materials such as soil and wood. Curator, Manon Slome is the founder and curator of No Longer Empty, a public arts organization that unites site-specific exhibitions with community engagement. A catalogue with an essay by Manon Slome accompanies the exhibition. 


Sean Slemon (b. 1978) is a South African artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture with a Masters in Fine Arts at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York; he is also a 2005 recipient of the prestigious Sasol New Signatures Award. His numerous group and solo exhibitions include Reflecting Transformation (2009) curated by Manon Slome for the No Longer Empty program; Public Property (2007) at the Central Utah Arts Center; Scratching the Surface Vol.1 at the Association of Visual Arts, Cape Town; and ZA Giovane arte dal Sudafrica at the Palazzo dell Papesse, Siena, Italy (2008).


For more information or images please contact the gallery at or 212-244-2344.