Andy-licious Matthew Sandwich at Cass Cafe
Matthew Lewis, Andrew Krieger, Matthew Hanna
December 5, 2009-February 6, 2010
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 12 7-10PM
Home grown Detroit artists have a way of commanding your attention, be it intentionally, completely inadvertently or out of the desperation of after thought. Sometimes you’re just overwhelmed by ten or more names of notable talent in one show. Or maybe an inspired curator has whipped up a delectable sauce from fresh or exotic ingredients. Or maybe a reputable name like Andy Krieger flies at you out of Facebook touting two other remarkable talents like Matthew Hanna and Matthew Lewis imploring that you come see their show “because we’re the cutest artists in Detroit.” and you’ll se such great works as Matt :Lewis’ “Roach Stomping Fool”, Andy Krieger’s “White Boy Extraordinaire” and Matt Hanna’s “Ass Kicker”. “Don’t miss Matt Hannas eighteen foot painting/construction, Its awesome! You’ll love Matt Lewis’ never before seen in Detroit paintings, and Andy Kriegers latest stuff.”
That’s all I needed to know, right? What was I waiting for? I made an executive decision to stop by for the Noel Night preview at Cass Cafe immediately following my Hub Of Detroit board meeting. I arrived at the Cafe fully expecting to be entertained by what was waiting. After all, that is what Andy promised. Admittedly my digital exchange with him had fixed an indelible Cheshire Cat like grin on my face that remained as each piece drew me to it and taught me how to view it. Some of the smaller three dimensional works insist that you peer closely at the detail while Hanna’s eighteen foot painting with sculptural elements attached insisted that you walk around the room and explore it from different angles. And so it went for each of the 46 different pieces of art. Each with it’s own size, taste opinion and needs.
Andy works in a painting as sculpture format. “I’ll take my painting and pull elements out of the two dimensional image and then carve them or construct them somehow and re-incorporate them back into the painting.” The sculptural quality of some of the paintings is prominent . They are all definitely paintings first, with strong sculptural elements about them. Matt Lewis uses paint in really thick textural ways like a topographical map. Boring sameness does not exist in this show.
This is what each artist has to say about their own work:
This work is about finding images for feelings, emotions, experiences, etc. by digging into, instead of looking for them in particular. The process allows the work to be done as unconsciously as possible in the beginning and relies on a series of color relationships for its structure.
Though the word process may sound technical, it is instead a series of rituals to separate the analytical mind in terms of a planned direction and specific subject matter and composition and rely instead on instincts, urges, necessity, ….
The matrix of the paintings are always the same, always after the same end. The work is meant to be a meditation and a reflection, a record of time spent and an attempt at a communication that is both personal and communal, inside of us and outside of us.
One thing I’ve noticed in making art is I’ve tried over and over to try and create a sense of movement and kinetic energy with static, non-moving elements. I believe this is not only a personal challenge I’ve presented for myself, to basically try and make a short film with only stationary objects and images but also create another world of my own making that I can escape into. This comes from my love of the movies which is also a collection of static images, run together to create a sense of movement and as a result, a sense of escape into an other world. The ultimate goal though, is to make something beautiful.
There are many things I’m interested in as subject matter at the moment. One is the giant. As a child I was fascinated with King Kong and Japanese monster movies that were shown on tv after school. In the winter I use to pretend I was a giant while walking on the shoveled show piles along the sidewalks, that looked to me like mountains. How could such a being sustain itself? What would his/her life be like? I thought even as a child that it would be a rather lonely experience.
The art I am making now is about childhood loves and fascinations filtered through my adult and artistic perspective.
The most recent exploration in my paintings is an on-going series of mixed- media and collaged landscapes that focus on Staghorn Sumac, a roadside pioneer plant often seen growing in the tree line along the highway. The Sumac is a survivor, and for me a metaphor for the times we are living in, we too have to be survivors. It’s also like the classic tale of Man vs. Nature. The sumac habitat, that line drawn between the highway’s concrete and the fields where the sumac thrives, is like a barrier between the manmade and nature. The plant, typicality growing between the road and fields, seems a symbol of defiance, insisting, by their very survival at edge of the concrete, that Nature will survive all of the inroads we make on her. However, the paintings are not representation but, rather, anchored in realism with an essentially abstract approach. Broken down the paintings are basic studies of color, form and texture in the form of landscapes from my mind’s eye
The Cass Cafe Gallery under the management of Dave Roberts continues to titillate and entertain Detroit Cass Corridor and Cultural Center patrons . Bringing together Matthew Lewis, Andrew Krieger and Matthew Hanna in one show is a special treat for us all and should not be missed. The Opening Reception is Saturday, December 12 7-10PM and runs through February 6, 2010.
The Cass Cafe is located at..
4620 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48201