The George Adams Gallery is pleased to announce our first exhibition by Matjames Metson. Installed in our back gallery, the exhibition features A Tower (2023), an elaborate assemblage completed over the course of fourteen years by the Los Angeles artist, in addition to other smaller-scale sculptures.
At seven and a half feet, A Tower resembles both a fortified tower and a reliquary. Composed of thousands of found antique objects meticulously assembled by the artist over the course of years, the work demands interaction with its hinged doors, kaleidoscope, and secret compartments. Metson’s molded glass windows contain black and white portraits, sterling silver butter knives, rusted keys, rosary beads, animal skulls, and excerpts of letters between lovers. With A Tower, Metson recalls America’s past: a time when the prevailing notion of beauty was the careful craftsmanship of raw materials. Inspired by Victorian architecture and Eastlake furniture, Metson creates an object that is at once functional and ornate. A Tower stands against what is trending–art that is digital, impersonal, and devoid of the artist’s hand–and remembers a simpler past, as if from a dream.
Matjames Metson was born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1971. The son of two art professors, Metson moved throughout the US and Europe during his childhood. Collecting a variety of materials from each temporary homebase, Metson began making assemblages as soon as he could use a hammer. He settled in New Orleans as a young adult, where he continued to craft sculptures with found objects and draw comics for nearly two decades, before facing the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Despite severe loss, Metson’s resilience and drive to create spurred him to rebuild his life, eventually settling in Hollywood, California.
Within his studio apartment, Metson crafts intricate architectural sculptures, wall hangings, and furniture using an abundant stash of found objects, often acquired from estate sales. These objects, skillfully arranged on towering plaques of battered wood, create captivating three-dimensional stories. Throughout his career, Metson has demonstrated an unyielding passion for transforming discarded and forgotten objects into ephemeral dream-like worlds. His intricate pieces reflect a deep connection with America's underbelly, infused with symbols, numerals, bullets, vintage toys, and family photographs. Each work carries a myriad of stories and challenges viewers to delve into their own narratives.
Matjames Metson is a self-taught artist. He has completed several graphic novels including Survivor's Guild, an autobiographical account of Hurricane Katrina. His work has been shown at the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles, CA; the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in Costa Mesa, CA; the Museum of Art and History in Lancaster, CA; and Craft Contemporary Los Angeles, among others. Metson currently lives and works in Hollywood, California.