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Colin Matthes
updated: 02/05/2013
website: colinmatthes.com
 
   
 
 
     
 
Artwork Title
art-medium
art-year
dimensions
Click thumbnails for full view:
 
Street Scene
Moving On
Sale
Survival Products
Rising Water Improvised Rescue Device
Invention
Disaster Resistant Dwelling
Mobile Dwelling or Continuous Evacuation City
Vandalized Painting: Luxury Floatation Living
HOT HOT Manifest
WE BUY GOLD
Cranes
Target Audience: Lower Priority Subjects
US Foreign Military Interventions: a list of locations from 1801-2009
Post Tent Sale
 
Portfolio Keywords:  architecture, text, consumer culture, illustration, obsessive, narrative, political, social criticism, gestural, futuristic
 
 
Street Scene by Colin Matthes
Street Scene
ink and paint on paper
2012
43 " x  40 " 
Moving On by Colin Matthes
Moving On
ink and paint on paper
2012
40 " x  58 " 
Sale by Colin Matthes
Sale
ink and paint on paper
2012
42" x  28" 
Survival Products by Colin Matthes
Survival Products
Installation
2011
104" x  190"  x 14" 
Rising Water Improvised Rescue Device by Colin Matthes
Rising Water Improvised Rescue Device
Two Installation Views (L) ink and paint on wall (R) sculpture
2010
137" x  53"  x 79" 
Invention by Colin Matthes
Invention
ink and paint on paper
2010
62" x  29" 
Disaster Resistant Dwelling by Colin Matthes
Disaster Resistant Dwelling
ink and paint on paper
2011
42" x  30" 
Mobile Dwelling or Continuous Evacuation City by Colin Matthes
Mobile Dwelling or Continuous Evacuation City
ink and paint on paper
2011
38" x  30" 
Vandalized Painting: Luxury Floatation Living by Colin Matthes
Vandalized Painting: Luxury Floatation Living
ink and paint on paper
2011
40 " x  30 " 
HOT HOT Manifest by Colin Matthes
HOT HOT Manifest
Installation in Closed Formal Wear Store (collaboration with Kati Heck)
2011
Dimensions variable
WE BUY GOLD by Colin Matthes
WE BUY GOLD
Installation in Closed Jewelry Store (collaboration with Kati Heck)
2011
Dimensions variable
Cranes by Colin Matthes
Cranes
ink on paper
2010
43" x  28" 
Target Audience: Lower Priority Subjects by Colin Matthes
Target Audience: Lower Priority Subjects
ink and paint on paper (22 images each 15x11in)
2011
15" x  11" 
US Foreign Military Interventions: a list of locations from 1801-2009  by Colin Matthes
US Foreign Military Interventions: a list of locations from 1801-2009
ink on paper
2010
140" x  11" 
Post Tent Sale by Colin Matthes
Post Tent Sale
outdoor wall drawing, Heaven Gallery, Chicago
2009
1560" x  384" 

Artist Statement

Growing up I worked for my father, an electrician and engineer who is an obsessive problem solver. He was seemingly unable to give attention to anything but the task at hand. Everything was always possible, even if it meant finishing an outdoor job while the tornado sirens were going off. There were never any rules (or any that could not be broken) in completing a task. It was a perfectly good idea to hang a town’s Christmas decorations by putting your son and the decorations at the top of the fully extended bucket truck and drive down the road never lowering the boom until you were out of decorations. You just had to get it done and get it done right.

I am becoming him, but I am an artist. Definitely not an engineer. The things I make are perverted ideas of real solutions…but I am obsessed with problem solving and why some things are attended to and others are not. As a poor person with no real stake in the world I make imaginative (or childlike) solutions to real problems. Often these objects and drawings function as “inventions” that are more comparable to something you might find in an infomercial rather than anything NASA would come up with. They feel simultaneously absurd and plausible. Such as my Transportable Border Wall or the Rising Water Improvised Rescue Device, a helium balloon-powered, crudely built glider that carries a life jacket to those lost at sea.

These inventions may not be about solutions, but about questions, about seeing things to be done and saying let me do it, about wondering if irony still has a place in a world of unmanned drones, spray on tans, and reality television. Concerning my practice with  “invention” allows me to make work that addresses economic and environmental crisis from a funny, critical, fatalistic, and industrious point of view. Within these works the viewer will find advertising, questionable science, obsessiveness, paranoid ramblings, and genuine concern laced in humor. By making I find my own version of beauty, of defiance, of Do-It-Yourself resourcefulness. 

Artist Bio / CV

Education
2003, MFA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 
2001, BFA, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, WI
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2013 Sky High Gallery, Milwaukee, WI
2011 Artspace Leguit, Antwerpen, Belgium
2010 E X P O, Igloo Gallery, Portland, OR 
Making Do, Ripon College, Ripon, WI
2009 Credit is Alright, University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, TX
2008 The Nohl Fellowship Exhibition, Inova, Milwaukee, WI,  
Selected Group Exhibitions
2013 ElButron, Sevilla, Spain
Monster Truck Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
Wexford Art Center, Wexford, Ireland 
2012 Munch Gallery, New York, NY
Breeze Block Gallery, Portland, OR
Neurotitan Gallery, Berlin, Germany
2011 Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia 
2011 Pittsburgh Biennial, Miller Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
The Silent Scream, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
2010 58 Gallery, Jersey City, NJ
Sailing the Barbarous Coast, two-person show New Art Center, Newton, MA / UMass Amherst, MA / Walkers Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee, WI
2009 Current Tendencies, Haggerty Museum, Milwaukee, WI
Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL
2008 Space 1026, Philadelphia, PA
Milwaukee International Art Fair, Milwaukee, WI
2007 Aqua Art Fair, Miami, FL
TTC Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
Metro Noviciado, Madrid, Spain
Gallery 1199, New York, NY
Selected Public Art Projects
2012 Cite Maquette (All Problems Can Never Be Solved), Brussels, Belgium 
2011 Snow Wall, Lynden Sculpture Garden, Milwaukee, WI 
2010 Breakdown Press, Melbourne, Australia
Portretatelier, Fort 8, Antwerp, Belgium
Grants and Residencies
2012 Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowship for Individual Artists, Established Artist
AIR Cow House Studios, Wexford, Ireland 
2011-12 AIR, Burren College of Art, Ballyvaughan, Ireland (Sept-May)
2011 AIR, Artspace Leguit, Antwerp, Belgium
2010 AIR, Werk Kamp, Scheld’apen, Antwerp, Belgium
AIR, AS220, Providence, RI
AIR, Igloo Gallery, Portland, OR
Grant, IN:SITE, Milwaukee, WI
Grant, Mary L. Nohl Suitcase Export Grant, Milwaukee, WI
2009 Cameron Visiting Artist, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT
AIR, Harold Arts, Chesterhill, OH
Special Editions Residency (reserve), Lower East Side Printshop, New York, NY