Works by Matthew Bourbon
On-view September 10 - October 30, 2021
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For several years now I have been painting basic abstract shapes as containers for the human body, architecture, industrial objects, and various other natural forms. I wonder about these seemingly disparate categories of things, and how they share many similarities of form and substance. To focus my paintings, I have corralled my practice into a series of nominal heads. The “head” I choose to name each painting is a nod to my studio ruminations and the seat of our intellect that we imagine residing in our brains.
Essentially, I am using my painting as a place to undo some of my impulses to think of myself as a solely unique human, separate from all other things. With a bent toward the philosophic, my work is made from a wondering about this drive to see ourselves as islands holding tight to our ego. All these musings are the background in which I make the paintings you see. They are not the meaning of the paintings, but the driving impulse. Other thoughts about color, line, shape, toys, modernist book design, or perhaps the rock I find on the ground are also part of what I filter through my making process. All of it feeds a curiosity about both painting and the larger world of ideas and things from which it springs.
Matthew Bourbon is a painter, art critic, and a Professor of Art at the College of Visual Arts and Design. Originally from the San Francisco Bay area, Bourbon earned separate undergraduate degrees in Studio Art and Art History from the University of California at Davis. Relocating to New York City, he earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts. Since then, his art has been exhibited nationally and internationally. Shows include Wider West at the Oil Tank Culture Park in Seoul, South Korea, C’est de la Peinture! at Bankley Studios and Gallery, Manchester, England, Time, Space, and Process at Bethel University, St. Paul, MN, and Waiting For Now at the Old Jail Art Center Museum here in Texas. His work was also shown in conjunction with The Artist's Eye lecture series at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth. Bourbon has won numerous awards for his work, including the Otis and Velma Davis Dozier Travel Grant by the Dallas Museum of Art to conduct research in Japan. He has also been selected twice to be included in the Texas Biennial and on numerous occasions been selected for the publication New American Paintings. Bourbon was named an Institute for the Advancement of the Arts Faculty Fellow 2015/16, and he received the Creative Impact Award from UNT, Fall 2017. Bourbon is an active art critic, contributing to Art Forum, Flash Art, ArtNews, New York Arts Magazine, and Glasstire Online Arts Journal. He also served for several years as the regional editor for the much-loved journal Art Lies. Recent reviews penned for ArtForum include Maja Ruznic at Conduit Gallery, Stanley Whitney at The Modern Art Museum Fort Worth, and Margarita Cabrera at the Dallas Contemporary.