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Victor Matthews

BIOGRAPHY

b. 1963

Victor Matthews (b. 1963) is an internationally exhibited artist who lives both in Los Angeles and New York, is a New York native with roots in Brooklyn where he was born in 1963. He is a graduate of the New York High School of Art and Design and earned his BFA from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After completing his studies, Matthews moved back to New York in 1984 to set up his first studio in the East Village.


As a young artist Matthews began his career in New York alongside artists like Richard Hambleton, and Keith Haring who taught Matthews how to stretch canvas.  The influence of the first real “street art” movement on his work is palpable. Although he has been known to use the street as a canvas, he is in every aspect a studio painter, and has instead brought the street into his canvases.


For the last decade Matthews has been creating perfectly choreographed mosaic-like paintings of whitewashed and abstracted cityscapes. His canvases, visually complex, are teeming with objects and abstracted shapes formed out of a bright white and heavy impasto paint. Each form sits on a raw canvas background, elbow to elbow with others without overlapping. 


While painting in his New York studio, banal urban objects such as sneakers, hydrants and brick find their way into his Zen-like paintings. Abstracted brick walkways are topped with sneakers in profile, water towers stand like mountains and stylized pigeons sit comfortably atop the Brooklyn Bridge.


While working in his Los Angeles studio, (where he affectionately calls “the West Side of America.”) the intricacies of the urban streets are replaced with new kinds of modernist foliage and organic shapes that hint at a story rather than tell it outright, reflecting a more sprawling urban environment. In contrast, his “west side” paintings occasionally contain color, or what he refers to as “tones” or “moods”. Rich blue, oranges, and serve as warm backgrounds for the bright-white objects to float upon.


All of his work exudes both calm richness and a bright, hopeful optimism.


Matthews has been exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions in the US and abroad including the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999, Museum Sala Uno (Rome), the Boca Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum (Venice) and The Sculpture Center (New York). In 2013, Matthews exhibited in the 55th Venice Biennale, friends and collectors Salman Rushdie and Francesco Clemente composed the introduction for the published catalog.


His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum Overholland (Amsterdam), the International Center for Contemporary Art (Rome), Cornell University (Ithaca NY), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), New School (New York), and Museum Nuova Icona (Venice), as well as in the private collections of Russell Simmons, Brice & Helen Marden, Jay Z, L.A. Reid, Francesco & Alba Clemente, Vera List, Ed Norton, Mary J. Blige, Nathaniel Rothschild, Forest Whitaker, President Mogae of Botswana, Donald Trump, Ronald Perelman and Salman Rushdie, among others.


 


SELECTED EXHIBITIONS


2014


bright...brighter...brighters, KM Fine Arts, Los Angeles, CA
Oxenberg Fine Art, Miami, FL


2013
Transitions, A Collateral Event of the 55th Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
Transitions, Boca Museum of Art, Boca Raton, FL


2012
Winter Dreams, Space SBH, St Barthelemy
The Vortex Paintings, deBuck Gallery, New York, NY 


2010

Alter Ego Paintings, Wendt Gallery, New York, NY
Non Objective or Not, Wendt Gallery, New York


2009

Champions of Modernism III, Wendt Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA


2008
Antarctica, Olivia On Warren, Hudson, NY 


2007
Oliver Houg Gallery, Lyon, France


2006
Champions of Modernism II, Denise Bibro Fine Art, Inc., New York, NY


2005
Galerie Berinson, Berlin, Germany


2004
Trans Hudson Gallery, New York, NY


2002
Beyond Metamorphosis, between Piers 88-90, Battery Park, New York, NY
The Freight Elevator Project 2, New York, NY


2001
Panther, a site-specific installation, Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY
The Freight Elevator Project , New York, NY 


2000
Sala 1 – International Center for Contemporary Art – Rome, Italy


1999
The 48th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, Nuova Icona Cultural Association for the Patronage of Contemporary Visual and Performing Arts, Venice, Italy


1998
Roger Merians Gallery, New York, NY
Stephen Wirtz Gallery – San Francisco, C 


1996
Champions of Modernism, The Castle Gallery
College of New Rochelle, New Rochelle, NY
Mary Washington College Galleries, Fredericksburg, VA
Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC
Sunrise Museum, Charleston, WV
Brevard Museum of Art and Science, Melbourne, FL 


1995
Pink Innocence, Grand Salon, New York, NY
Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Kantor Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Paul Nievergilt, Zurich, Switzerland


1993
Drawing the Line Against AIDS, Guggenheim Museum, Venice, Italy


1992
Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York, NY


1991
Tim Foley Gallery, New Orleans, LA
Tibor de Nagy, New York, NY


1988
Tower Gallery, New York, NY
Gallerie Sedjusehin, Konstanz, Germany
Gallerie Berenson, Berlin Germany 


1987
Maurice Azoulay Gallery, Los Angeles, CA


1986
E.V. Gallery, New York, NY,
Art et Industrie, New York, NY,
Moda Exhibition Space, New York, NY


1985
Palladium East Village Show, New York, NY
Aesthetics Gallery, New York, NY
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, NY
The National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, Wilberforce, OH


 


PUBLIC COLLECTIONS


Sala 1 – International Center for Contemporary Art – Rome, Italy
Stephen Wirtz Gallery – San Francisco, CA
Perry Rubenstein Gallery – New York, NY
The Sculpture Center – New York, NY
Museum Overholland – Amsterdam, Holland
Cornell University – Ithaca, NY
Museum Ludwig – Cologne, Germany
The New School University – New York
NY Nuova Icona – Venice, Italy


 


PRIVATE COLLECTIONS 


Tracy Maitland & Kim Hatchett, New York
Donald Beachler, New York
Jay Z, New York
Francesco and Alba Clemente, New York
Richard D. Parsons, New York
Nathaniel Rothchild, London
Ted Fields, Los Angeles
Annabelle Sciorra, New York
Lucas White, London
Vivi Nevo, New York
Victtorio Urbani, Venice, Italy
John (Jelly Bean) Benitez, Ft. Lauderdale
Festus Morgae, Botswana, Africa
John Paulson, New York
Robin Thicke & Paula Patton, Los Angeles
George Robb Jr., Florida
L.A. Reid, New York
Paolo Nicola Rossini, Monaco
Patti Wilson, New York
Brett Ratner, Los Angeles
Fabienne Lecole, New York
Cheryl Gold, New York
Merle Rubine, New York
Ed Norten, New York
Mary J. Blige, New York
Peter and Kara Georgiopoulos, New York
Steven Lowy, New York
Timothy Greenfield Sanders, New York
Craig M. Hatkoff & Jane Rosenthal, New York
Dirk Goldwasser, Miami
Nicole Nagel, Los Angeles
Salman Rusdie, New York
Russell Simmons, New York
Brice and Helen Marden, New York
Brian Grazer, Los Angles
Lyor Cohen, New York
Richard Plepler, New York
Tatum O’neal, New York
Jim Breyer, Florida
Georgina Grenville, Paris, France
Vera G. List, New York
Donald Trump, New York
Carolyn Benitez, New York
Ronald Perelman, New York
Forest Whitaker, Los Angeles
Andre Harrell, New York
Veronica Webb, New York
Mariangela Ventura, Monaco
David Rosenberg, New York
Paul and Dayssi Kanavos, New York
David Tisch, New York
Susan and David Noonan, New York
Peter Lowy, Los Angeles
Solided Obrian, New York
Dr. Oz Garcia, New York
Tamara Mellon, New York
Byron and Susan Roth, Laguna Beach
David and Susan Noonan, New York
Sante D’orazio, New York
John and Joyce Varvatos, New York
Patrice & Gisele Courtier, France
Beth Rudin DeWoody, New York