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Helen Marten

Satellite TV (2019)

British artist Helen Marten works across sculpture, painting, and writing to create a body of work that questions the stability of the material world and our place within it. Alluding to language, systems, and intentionality, her work across all media sets out to imagine the miraculous substructure beneath the veneer of our habitual lives.In her edition “Satellite TV,” luminous colors set apart the characters at the center ofwhat appears to be a theatrical scene. The edition is based on a drawing that Marten digitally decomposed into six basic colors and translated back into a work of graphic art by lithographing one painted layer after another. The analog technique endows each print with tiny irregularities and fingerprints, painterly traces of the printing process that breathe the same life into the figures that distinguishes the Turner Prize-winning artist’s works. A boy on the left edge of the picture is extending his clenched fist toward the three other figures in an ambiguous gesture. Is he angry, or trying to hand them something? Is he a spectator, or involved in what is happening? We cannot tell. His posture brings the ancient device of teichoscopy to mind, in which a messenger relates events that are invisible to the spectators. Yet he is also inserting himself into the action, breaching the theater’s traditional fourth wall. Large eyes and open mouths – we can almost overhear their murmurs – frames the scene and underscores its dramatic quality.

9-color lithograph on 300 g Somerset Satin Paper, 40 x 60 cm, edition: 100 + 20 A.P. + 1 P.P. + 1 S.P., numbered and signed on the back, € 480.- plus shipping.