Please join us for an artist talk with Christy Matson about her current exhibition “The Sun Doesn’t Shine through the Mist until Noon”, presented in conversation format with Ellen Alderman, director of Alderman Exhibitions.
In this new body of work, Christy Matson activates rhythmic sequences that simultaneously reference an early modernist aesthetic and the preceding ethnographic patterns by which many twentieth-century painters and sculptors were influenced. The culmination of a process of translation from sketches in marker to full-scale weavings in cotton, linen, cashmere, and tencel, the fields of color within the woven patterns retain the marks of the artist’s hand as it telegraphs through the work of the shuttle. The reinsertion of the casualness of the sketches into the weavings highlights the importance of the idiosyncrasies in Matson’s process and use of color. The breaks or glitches in the self-inscribed systems destabilize the grid and underscore the tension between necessity and monotony in the structure of a plan.
The exhibition is organized around an intimately scaled series of framed weavings, four larger works on black, and a collaborative video project produced with Ken Fandell. Regulated, yet lively, the areas of pattern in the series float within a white, woven ground. Faint feathering around the edges suggests a continuation of the pattern below the picture plane, an effect that serves as a reminder of depth and invites interpretation through each work’s concurrent existence as both surface and object. Although they are constructed using a similar process, the larger works on black are stitched onto a Belgian linen ground on stretched canvas, a method of presentation that stresses the physicality of the works while initiating a conversation about materiality that trespasses over a more painterly history of abstraction. The video, a psychedelic collage of brightly colored segments from the drawings that inspired the weavings interspersed with footage of turtles filmed in El Salvador, speaks to faith in the relationship between persistence and intuition, exemplified by the work of the hand as it is bound up in the work of the loom.
Christy Matson (b. 1979, Seattle, WA), a Left-Coast transplant to the Midwest, is an artist and educator at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Fiber and Material Studies. She received her BFA in studio art from the University of Washington in 2001, and her MFA in textiles from California College of the Arts in 2005. Recent exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Arts, Houston; the Milwaukee Art Museum; the Knoxville Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR; and the San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design. In 2011, Matson was an artist-in-residence at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, and in 2006, she was an artist-in-residence at the Experimental Sound Studio in Chicago and Harvestworks Digital Media Arts in New York.. Her work is held in the collections of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art’s Renwick Gallery and Portland’s Museum of Contemporary Craft.