WILLIAM MATHESON // night was already in my hands
On view September 16–October 19, 2015
Opening reception Sunday, September 20 (2–5 p.m.)
Bisected, flattened, bleached, pre-dyed. In an examination of the artist's absolute vision, the pretreated canvases on view for William Matheson’s second solo exhibition at Nationale, Night Was Already in My Hands, are active screens with which his brushstrokes must learn to either coexist or compete. Upon this amorphous foundation, he accordingly layers lazy geometric forms and monochromatic figures with a measured obtuseness. Certain images tantalize as perhaps Freudian dreamscapes- what does the lemon mean? Is it a house? Who are those witchy apparitions? The historical significance of Grecian and Etruscan busts are likewise questioned and reinterpreted through their appropriation as softened portraits, accented with curves of opaque color.
Inspired by the poetry of the Japanese modernist Sagawa Chika, from whom the exhibition borrows its title, Matheson explores his uncertainty towards the pressures of image production and studio practice with a lyrical sensitivity. Painting becomes an exploit of both austerity and accommodation that, in its limitations, uncovers new emotional currents.
Originally from Los Angeles, William Matheson is currently pursuing his MFA at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. He received his BFA from Portland’s Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2013. He has exhibited nationally, including a 2014 solo show, Sunless, at Nationale. Matheson is the recipient of the Milton and Sally Avery Fellowship Award from the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT and a Canserrat Residency Artist Fellowship. His second solo exhibition at Nationale coincides with the announcement of his representation by the gallery.
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