Lyles & King

Lyles & King is a contemporary art gallery located in New York's Lower East Side. Founded May 2015.


Simon Mathers

Bad Butter

January 12 - February 11, 2018


Lyles & King is pleased to present Bad Butter, an exhibition of a new paintings by British artist Simon Mathers, on view January 12 – February 11, 2018. Bad Butter and the imagery of Mathers’ paintings stem from the artist’s reflection on the food and dairy industry with its various emulsions offering a metaphor for paint. Mathers describes the transition from the natural phase of dairy production, which involves nurturing, to the synthetic phase, which involves chemistry, as alchemy. In particular, a northern Renaissance pastoral scene, with a working clock ensconced in the painted clocktower, triggered Mathers’ thinking about practicality, and process and looking as duration. 

Combining scraped acrylic and wood grain, the paintings play on the juvenile imagery used to sell dairy products. The pictures are structured with fore, middle, and background, but the images morph between figuration and abstraction. Our making sense of and watching the scene/painting from our position of the audience/watcher compares or heightens the durations of process and the application achieved. Paint is handled loosely, almost as if spread and churned. Mathers’ commitment to resolving his paintings in a contemporary manner upholds the underlying metaphor of Bad Butter, dairy's production, distribution, and consumption.

Simon Mathers (b. 1984) lives in London, UK. Solo exhibitions include You Are Underground, Gianni Manhattan, Vienna; Milk, MOT International, Brussels; a Fondazione Macc residency exhibition at the Musee d’Arte Contemporanea di Calasetta, Italy; Simon Mathers, Rowing Projects, London; and The Patterns of Fur and Themes of Still and Running, MOT International, London. Group exhibitions include Boetzelaer Nispen Gallery, Amsterdam; Ema-lin, Dunmore, USA; James Fuentes, New York; Pilar Corrias, London; and others. Mathers is represented by Gianni Manhattan, Vienna.