Artist: Matthew Chambers
Venue: Zach Feuer, New York
Date: January 6 – February 7, 2015
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Zach Feuer, New York
For his exhibition at Zach Feuer Gallery, Matthew Chambers has produced three bodies of work—a series of artist’s books and two distinct series of paintings. Centrally rooted in the artist’s studio, Chambers presents the unedited, democracy of ideas, which most often never find their way into the exhibition space through artist books that index every possible painting. In presenting every idea Chambers acknowledges the presence of bad ideas, excessively charged imagery, and everything in between, while also exposing his personal editing process. Where the books imply the continuing sense of freedom, risk, failure, work for work’s sake, and private catharsis, the two groups of paintings show restraint and seriality through a primary focus on formal concerns.
In dialog with the artist’s books, the paintings on view identify an exhaustion in the language Chambers has developed within his own practice. Moving the image further away from a position of a charged visual language than ever before, this new body of work further pairs the experience down to surface. Pointing to Chambers past vocabulary of figurative and ripped painting, the works on view acknowledge their histories only in their most rudimentary analysis. Their material qualities quickly negate historical referents in exchange for a purely visual engagement mediated through the paintings unorthodox and often captivating objecthood. The automotive paint of the ripped paintings was used as uniform color, applied in a uniform way, limiting potential artistic interventions. Similarly, the floral works, while starting from automatic drawings focused on color (some present in the books), were then repainted with matched color enamel adhesive, and then sprayed with nylon or rayon fiber.
For Chambers, art’s objective is to give pause, to slow down the world. With this in mind, the artist’s goal is to transfix the viewer, if only momentarily, by their own experience of seeing rather than by the mechanics of production or the myth of the object which often frame the experience of a painting. As agents of time dilation, the works on view are not to be seen as critical foils to contemporaneity but as meditative portals unhinged from the traditional theoretical frameworks usually required for visual entry into a painting.