04.28 — 06.08.13
devening projects + editions is very pleased to invite you to Razors & Vapors, Matt Rich’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition opens in the main gallery on Sunday, April 28th, 4 – 7pm.
As Matt Rich describes his paintings, “ … they aren’t quite many things: flat, dimensional, representational or perfectly singular. In being not quite many things, they commit to a formal and experiential dissonance.” The dissonance seems to come out of his joy in making work that wobbles through different neighborhoods. Painting, sculpture, emblematic signage, performative action – Matt Rich finds possibilities in each of these. To keep things in flux in the studio, he maneuvers among these territories and enlivens the work through improvisation and modification. Hanging directly on the wall, the work emphatically holds space, acting at times like heraldic insignia and at others, like portals into some visually skewed netherworld. Each work is assembled from cut paper activated with acrylic pigments applied in a variety of gestures—evenly sprayed, messily smeared, scraped, brushed and rolled. The process of composing is “pre-indeterminate;” it starts someplace — almost any place — and evolves through a liberated sense of composition and construction toward tenuous stability. The final shape may feel familiar — usually the title leads someplace — but the work quickly slips and becomes something entirely other. That the paintings frequently hover almost there or not-quite-there is a testament to Rich’s awareness of how things congeal, how the paintings form and become whole – or potentially dissolve into some unexpected result. They may feel tentatively held together, but it is the declarative nature of what we ultimately experience that intimates a work as an essential being: something flawed but resolute. The work’s heartfelt exuberance is expressed through shape, color and construction, but we feel its willingness to be imperfect as absolutely human.
Matt Rich has had solo exhibitions at Project Row Houses in Houston, devening projects + editions in Chicago, the Suburban in Oak Park, Illinois, Samsøn Projects in Boston, VOLTA NY art fair and Halsey McKay in East Hampton, New York. In the past three years, Rich has had group shows at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Cottage Home and LACE in Los Angeles, Baer Ridgway Exhibitions in San Francisco, Galerie oqbo in Berlin, and DODGEgallery and BravinLee Programs in New York. Rich’s works are held in the collections of the List Visual Arts Center at MIT and The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City. He has received fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Terra Foundation for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. His work has been reviewed by Modern Painters, Artforum, Art Papers and The Boston Globe.