essays by Barry Schwabsky and Sally O’Reilly
They Built Upon It is Ian Monroe’s (born New York, 1972) second solo show since graduating from Goldsmiths College two years ago, and presents a significant body of new work. The five large-scale new works presented in They Built Upon It investigate the nature of idealised space: the showroom, the corporate office atrium, the church, and the hyper real environments of science fiction and computer games. All these spaces cater to, or project onto us, specific desires or lifestyles that maintain certain kinds of collective social myths. The materials used to make the new work, including shiny contact paper, reflect these interiors with their veneer of luxury or quality and their aspiration to inspire or intimidate. Two three-dimensional works are included in the exhibition, presenting objects that seem to have escaped from the paintings, but are dematerialised to the point that they appear to have less solidity than the painted objects. Published to accompany the exhibition of the same name at Haunch of Venison, January to February 2005.