Matthew Langley

New York, New York, USA

On Developing New Images

My artworks come from a series of divergent strategies: one of building and extending, the other of reducing and minimizing. These disparate approaches are not a way to impose meanings on the work, but can be viewed as a metaphoric crossroads. This crossroads is about extending the relationship of these different approaches, while at the same time allowing the viewer the liberty of time for further reading of the work. The image making that comes from this strategic foundation is clear, concise and rational, while at the same time allowing for a sense of community and/or contemplation to develop in and around the artworks.

The use of the grid stems from an understanding of large-scale problem solving. This approach—to break a large project down into a series of solvable smaller problems—is exactly what I’m doing by using the grid. By showing the grid, I try to obliquely show a small part of the process as well as the final destination of the artwork.

My artworks are not linear narratives; this allows the element of time to be stretched or compressed to accommodate the viewer. This flexibility to time as well as environment allows the artwork to reveal itself in slower and calmer ways than an artwork that is based only on the relationship of drama and detail of the forms presented inside of it, while allowing those with a more compressed timeline to react to the base elements of the composition and painterliness of the overall approach.

This open-ended approach is central to the artworks I create and allows them to be developed with a non-specific exactness.

On Names

Titles have become critical to my work. Primarily they re-establish a connection to the visible world and hopefully trigger a series of associations and ideas that are related between the artwork and the connotation in the viewer’s awareness. I avoid the descriptive and ordered approach (blue or number 12, etc.) as well as using “untitled.” I view titles as an approach to open the viewer to a thought process that may influence the subject at hand. This could be viewed as a shorthand poetry or similar device that allows further thought in connection with the viewer’s experience of the artworks.

contact & information

more information about the artist

email Matthew Langley

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