Philip Metten0912222022oil and thread on canvas17 x 17,2 cm
Philip Metten2201232023oil and thread on canvas39 x 39 cm
Philip Metten1611622022papier-mâché, acrylic and collage mounted on wood16 x 16 x 6,5 cm
Philip Metten1610222022oil, acrylic and thread on canvas26,7 x 26,5 cm
Philip Metten1201232023oil and thread on canvas26 x 26 cm
Philip MettenCX-35TK01-062023papier-mâché, acrylic and cardboard mounted on wood41 x 41,7 x 5,5 cm
Philip Metten0601232023oil and thread on canvas18,4 x 18,1 cm
Philip Metten2310222022oil and thread on canvas18,3 x 18,5 cm
Philip Metten162000232023polyurethane, wood, oil and thread on canvas15,5 x 15,8 x 4,8 cm
Philip Metten1612222022oil and thread on canvas24,2 x 24,2 cm
Philip Metten1510X2021papier-mâché, acrylic and collage mounted on wood16,2 x 16,3 x 3 cm
Philip Metten3313022022papier-mâché and acrylic mounted on wood33,1 x 33,1 x 1,7 cm
Philip Metten1701232023oil and thread on canvas20 x 20 cm
Philip Metten2711222022oil and thread on canvas38,3 x 38 cm
Philip MettenB31H202022papier-mâché, acrylic and collage mounted on wood15,8 x 12 x 2,4 cm
Philip Metten0803222022oil and thread on canvas35,1 x 35,4 cm
Philip Metten3011222022oil and thread on canvas24,7 x 24,7 cm
Philip Metten1671572021papier-mâché, acrylic, collage and gold leaf mounted on wood16,7 x 15,7 x 3 cm
Philip Metten2506222022oil and thread on canvas30,3 x 30,2 cm
Philip Metten1309222022papier-mâché, polystyrene, acrylic and collage mounted on wood23,5 x 22,7 x 6,8 cm
Philip Metten102021paper collage, acrylic, cardboard, wood45,2 x 42,5 x 13,1 cm
Philip Metten5842021paper, polystyrene, acrylic, cardboard, wood, gold leaf36,6 x 34,5 x 9,4 cm
Philip MettenUntitled2021paper, polystyrene, acrylic, cardboard, wood, gold leaf60,5 x 50 x 11,7 cm
Philip MettenC-1002017 - 2022collage on paper34,5 x 32,6 cm
Philip MettenC-0972017 - 2022collage on paper43,4 x 43,4 cm
Philip MettenC-1072017 - 2023collage on paper27,4 x 27,4 cm
Philip MettenC-0822016 - 2022collage on paper33,4 x 28,2 cm
Philip MettenC-0792017 - 2022collage on paper32,2 x 27,7 cm
Philip MettenC-0942017 - 2023collage on paper42,6 x 40,3 cm
Philip MettenC-0762016 - 2022collage on paper33,4 x 28,3 cm
Philip MettenC-1042017 - 2023collage on paper32,2 x 30,8 cm
Philip MettenC-0832017 - 2022collage on paper32,7 x 25,2 cm
Photo: Peter CoxCourtesy Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp
Philip Metten (b. 1977 in Genk) presents his second solo exhibition at Zeno X Gallery.
The exhibition offers an overview of the works Metten created in recent years and gives an insight into the different stages he went through. He experimented with different materials and media, ranging from paper collages to wall sculptures in papier-mâché and paintings.
In the first space, an aluminium profile acts both as a zero point and as a thread that connects the various works. This scenographic intervention is characteristic of Philip Metten’s work method: he often sets out a certain system, creating more room for interpretation in the process. In 2015, for instance, he designed a sculpture that could also be used freely as the scenography for a group exhibition at Extra City Kunsthal. Aluminium is ubiquitous in Metten’s architectural practice: the material plays a prominent role in the interior of the ESSEN restaurant in Borgerhout and also recurs as the ‘skeleton’ of his mobile CINEMA. Aluminium is often employed to demarcate a space or to create a spatial drawing. The intervention in the gallery is concise but impactful. The aluminium profile serves as a plinth and emphasizes the sculptural rather than the pictorial qualities of the collages and paintings.
The paintings are visually related to Metten’s paper collages and are constructed in a similar way. Instead of shreds of paper, Metten cuts up painted pieces of linen canvas which he then stitches together layer by layer, like a city expanding from a core. The superposition of layers turn the paintings simultaneously into reliefs. What stands out in these paintings is the fact that Metten stays true to the use of colour in his works on paper. The pastel colours refer to the millimetre paper used to make technical drawings, of which the artist has amassed a large collection. In some paintings, Metten evokes the stitched seams by scratching the canvas with a needle and filling in the grooves with paint.
Philip Metten’s paper collages have become increasingly spatial in recent years. He makes casts in papier-mâché that act as surroundings rather than frames for the collages. The papier-mâché is made with the remainders of the collages, as a result of which the paper is used purely as a material in the cast and applied in a pictorial way in the collage. The casts are made using the plastic packaging of food and consumer items. The design of these standardised packages is reminiscent of Metten’s own formal idiom and also ties in with his interest in the functionality and human scale that usually characterise these objects. Packaging made of polystyrene and cardboard is cut and assembled by Metten. They are both autonomous artworks and preliminary studies or models for possible structures or façades. The assemblages and collages are invariably constructed from separate fragments that Metten brings together without having a predetermined end result in mind. The final image refers to topographical maps, architecture and (pixelated) screens.
Philip Metten’s new book is titled Five Works. It was designed by Joris Kritis and published by Roma Publications. The volume offers an overview of the artist’s architectural and scenographic practice through five cases: a bar (BAR, 2013), the façade of an art gallery (153. Stanton, 2015), the scenography for a group exhibition (The Corner Show, 2015), a mobile cinema (CINEMA, 2017) and a restaurant in Borgerhout (ESSEN, 2021).