March 29, 2023 - August 12, 2023
By Matt Lewis
March 29-August 12, 2023
Opening reception March 30, 2023 5:30-7:30pm
Registration requested, but not required
Landscape paintings can pull from direct references to the environment or through imagined spaces. In his translation of landscapes, Matt Lewis melds tonalism with the subconscious to generate “psychological landscapes”; paintings with a dream-like quality that bend the horizon without tipping so far as to reach a surrealist space. Lewis constructs landscapes from various parts; remixed to show scenes that do not exist in real life. The work goes beyond the obvious. Beyond the land and past the rendering of it.
Lewis’ paintings are created by mark making. A process where line and color are conscientiously mixed over and over again to generate depth and tone that pulls the viewer into otherworldly realms. This method also means the pieces belong in a meditative and spiritual space as much as they do a gallery. The perspective sweeps in multiple directions to span the limits of canvas. The movement is soft and temporal. The change of seasons, of weather and of minds, is apparent.
Lewis’ paintings forego a traditional narrative in the hopes of aiming deep into the back of our minds. The primal stew that is driving breath and autonomous functions is at play here. In the Renaissance and Baroque periods, landscape paintings saw a time in which they were merely the background to tell religious tales. The Hudson River School painters made landscapes to communicate the vast unknown and push against the industrialization happening next to open vistas. Lewis’ paintings favor the work of a tinkerer. One who is constantly modifying and refining the space around them. Looking into the color of these paintings you can smell the influence of Rothko mixing his own paints to achieve color perfection.
The same is true for the work in Time Being. The lines and perspective are telling the story of mutation. How time and mind changes our being. We get lost in the overall ambience of the work.
Lewis is as informed by The Hero’s Journey as he is by Andrew Wyeth. There is a poetic resonance in the work due to its limitations. He sets out with a practice; mix the paint, get it on the canvas. That is the conscious work. But then the subconscious, the Jungian work follows behind tapping into what goes beyond the obvious. Getting beyond the limitations of the mind. Feeling the edge for limits. Like a poem. A small little container. It can only house a portion of the truth. Not the entirety. It is a fleeting glimpse we get for the time being.
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