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Robert Sestok: Space and Time

November 5 – December 17, 2022

Robert Sestok:

Space and Time

November 5 – December 17, 2022

Matéria is pleased to present Space and Time, a solo exhibition of painting works by Robert Sestok.

The abstract paintings included in the show, the first solo exhibition of the artist with the gallery, reference Sestok’s works created for the Edward W. Duffy Company in the early 1970s. At that time, the painting works created with bold colors outlined by black lines were made directly on the walls of the factory.

In this new group of large-scale paintings all created in 2022, Sestok–one of the most well-known Detroit Cass Corridor artists, and the only one who still maintains a studio in the area–looks back at the original creative intentions that first informed his painting work, now layered with insights of 50 years of art practice. The artist is known for constantly reusing and recycling different ideas through the decades.

In addition to the works presented in the gallery space, the exhibition Opening Reception will extend to an off-site location in a celebration of Sestok’s other passion: figurative painting/drawing. A special installation of figurative works depicting Detroit musician Jack White will be on view at the Cass Café for the opening night, with an after party and musical performances from 8-11 pm.

Robert Sestok met Jack White when he was still in high school and working at Brian Muldoon’s upholstery shop in Corktown. The mural painted by Sestok in the 70s made an impression on the young White, who connecting back to this memorable visual experience, commissioned Robert Sestok in 2016 to create a mural for his record manufacturing company Third Man Records.

After completing the abstract geometric mural at Third Man Records in 2016, Sestok went on to paint eight large-scale portraits of Jack White, as a way to honor White as one of the most celebrated creatives out of Detroit, but also as a way to reconnect to their shared Detroit history. Sestok put each canvas on the outside of his studio walls to paint these portraits, and worked on them year-round, through the winter, and in the snow.

Robert Sestok’s Space and Time captures the visual journey of one of the most significant Detroit Cass Corridor artists, and celebrates his ongoing contribution to the history of contemporary art in Detroit.

Born in Detroit, Robert Sestok has been creating work since 1967. He has exhibited at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), Cranbrook Museum of Art, at the Museum of Contemporary of Art Detroit (MOCAD), and Marianne Boesky Gallery (New York City), among others. In 2015, he opened City Sculpture Park, a public art space in Detroit exhibiting three decades of work. His work is held in numerous collections, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Cranbrook Museum of Art, and Wayne State University. Sestok is the recipient of grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he is 2017 Kresge Visual Arts Fellow.

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