Part Offering (Hit the Mahogany), 2014

Helen Marten

Production Year


From Helen Marten’s first exhibition at Sadie Coles HQ, «Oreo St. James»: «In eight screen-printed paintings on leather, Marten again lays bare the potency of line to read as an image: basic linear marks convey information at speed (a cat with an arabesque tail; a schematic front door), and yet the logic of these components – loosely amalgamated and printed on a monumental scale – appears to have shifted. The cat, an emblem of placid domesticity, is poised ambivalently between the status of pictogram, cartoon and decorative conceit. Depicted walking off a cliff, this repeated motif is literally a suspended animation, another instance of a figurative outline that is denied its mobile potential. Multiple vistas are overlaid (both paint and image) to suggest endless permutations of a recurring thought. The works are, in this regard, emphatically analogue. Extending Marten’s preoccupation with imagistic psychedelics, these works mirror the non-sequiturs or taboos of dream sequences, giving space to the nonsensical possibilities located on the threshold of retinal certainty. Contrasting with the weightless, immaterial images printed across the leather surface, an array of sculptural parasites form a disruptive and tactile invitation into each picture.»