WILLIAM MATHESON // sunless
On view June 4 - July 13, 2014
Opening reception First Friday, June 6 (6 p.m. - 9 p.m.)
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun”
The above, oft-quoted verse from Ecclesiastes marks a theoretical pathway into artist William Matheson’s conception for the works on view within his first solo exhibition at Nationale, Sunless. Similar to his paintings, the quote balances intriguingly between humor and more unsettling evocations of vacancy and fated repetition.
At turns vibrant and saturated, Matheson’s pieces inspire an underlying sense of tension and duality. His subject matter likewise constantly shifts between representation and abstraction, with both space and objects either aggressively realized or figuratively indicated. Placed obtrusively upon the canvases’ streaky, tonal backgrounds, his flatly painted anthropomorphic forms like a smiling face or skull often read as visual jokes- bright and somewhat laughable. They also, however, simultaneously register as cryptic leftovers from the past. Matheson actively introduces this indexical effect into his canvases by pulling sources from such everyday image producers as video games, stock photography databases, and screensavers. From the commoditized and artificial to the unique and subjective, Matheson’s painterly transformations in this manner revel within the hidden cycles of modern life.
William Matheson lives in Portland where he finished his undergraduate studies in Fine Arts at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2013. He will soon pursue his MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. Matheson was recently rewarded an artist fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT.
Please email the gallery for a price list of William Matheson's work and for larger images (email@example.com)