Matt Paweski is the 191st artist featured in Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art's MATRIX exhibition series

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Matt Paweski is the 191st artist featured in Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art's MATRIX exhibition series
Matt Paweski, Bonnet (Shaker) (detail), 2022. Aluminum, fir plywood, aluminum rivets, aluminum hardware, vinyl paint, enamel, plastic. Photo – Ruben Diaz. Courtesy of the artist, Gordon Robichaux, New York and Herald Street, London.

HARTFORD, CONN.- In his first solo museum exhibition, Matt Paweski debuts his latest body of work in an installation that mixes elements of architecture, furniture, and interior design. In its nearly 50-year history the Wadsworth’s MATRIX series has regularly presented exhibitions by emerging artists, encouraging exploration of their practice. Matt Paweski / MATRIX 191 will be on view February 3–May 7, 2023 at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

Trained in carpentry and fabrication, Matt Paweski makes abstract sculptures from painted aluminum. His works often suggest functionality, referencing industrial design and furniture making, yet they emerge from a manual process of drawing, cutting, painting, reconfiguration, and experimentation. Lushly colored surfaces and crisp machine-like forms draw viewers in to optical experiences that swing between recognition and unfamiliarity.

"Paweski’s awareness of history and context, coupled with the singularity of his aesthetic, make him a true embodiment of the spirit of MATRIX,” says Jared Quinton, Interim Curator of Contemporary Art at the Wadsworth. “With their intensity of line, color, and craftsmanship, his sculptures are like compact bundles of energy waiting to be unleashed. Their greatest power lies, however, in the ambiguity they are able to sustain. In a world overrun with standard design, material waste, and visual information, these works function like modest proposals, prompts for questioning, or catalysts for reflection. They draw us in with their formal beauty and strangeness, then send us back into the world looking for answers.”

The new body of sculpture includes forms that recall miniature architectural maquettes realized in opposing extremes of palette, visual weight, and surface finish; small knots of wave-like metal curves reminiscent of roboticized flora or fauna; artist-made chairs; a cluster of eight sculptural pendant lights occupying and illuminating a “room” of their own; and two bold green and yellow tables with aluminum sculptures embedded into their surfaces. Floating walls transform the oblong gallery creating intimate environments in which to experience these works.

Since its inception in 1975, MATRIX has been a forum for celebrating cutting-edge art and artists at the Wadsworth. The first exhibition series of its kind, the Wadsworth's MATRIX program has inspired more than 50 similar programs dedicated to contemporary art at museums across the country. Paweski’s MATRIX project marks the 191st installation of the prescient series.

Matt Paweski (b. 1980; Detroit, Michigan) lives and works in Los Angeles. He received an MFA from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA.

He has presented solo exhibitions at Gorodn Robichaux, New York (2021 and two-person with Sanou Oumar, 2018); Herald Street, London (2020, 2017, 2014); Octagon, Milan (2019); Park View / Paul Soto, Los Angeles (2018); Lulu, Mexico City (with Ella Kruglyanskaya, 2018); Ratio 3, San Francisco (2016); and South Willard, Los Angeles (2015, 2013, 2012).

His work has been reviewed and featured in numerous publications, including the New Yorker, the New York Times, Apartmento, Mousse, Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles, Contemporary Art Daily, Artforum, Los Angeles Review of Books, Artnet, Dwell Magazine, Art in America, Flash Art, and New York Times T Magazine. In 2020, his first monograph, MP.19, was published by Zolo Press. Paweski is represented by Gordon Robichaux, New York and Herald St, London.

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