David Lusk Gallery Nashville / 516 Hagan St. March 26 - April 27th

Rob Matthews

David Lusk Gallery is pleased to present Fragments by Rob Matthews.

Fragments comprises several expansive works of acrylic on canvas, each of which originated from a small-scale collage created by Matthews. Pieces of those collages were then carefully selected, isolated, and enlarged on canvas. Visually, this may seem like quite a jump in subject matter and style from Matthews' previous work; however, this newest body of work is a natural extension of his multifaceted artistic journey throughout the years, highlighting the core aspects of his practice. Culling out any extraneous elements, such as geometrical patterns or human figures, Matthews has created a visual bottom line. Accentuating gestural forms, crisp lines, and intricate color work on a large scale allows viewers to appreciate his work in ways that were not possible before.

Fragments evokes a sense of purposeful composition and design. Large quantities of colors, either in complementary shades or similar hues of the same primary color, create nuance and depth that showcases the methodical characteristics of Matthews' work. The large scale provides each individual piece a distinct, commanding presence and character, furthered by dynamic titles such as Archeology and Christmas or Joy (work harder).

While the exhibition title, Fragments, seems like an obvious nod to the appearance of the painting on canvas and Matthews' background in collage; it also reflects the idea that the most essential components of Matthews' artistic practice, the fragments that have been interwoven consistently throughout his career, are now appearing as the main event. The body of work forgoes any sort of narrative or concrete subject matter and instead focuses on intangible ideas and feelings. It is fueled by technical expertise and the desire to create a visual bottom line. This shift does not leave the work feeling impersonal or lacking but rather presents the viewer with the opportunity to form their own relationship with these pieces.

Rob Matthews lives and works in Nashville. He received his MFA in painting and printmaking from the Virginia Commonwealth University and his BFA in painting from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He is a two-time winner of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship award and won the Pew Fellowship in the Arts award in 2009. His work is frequently exhibited in New York, Philadelphia, and Nashville and is in the collections of North Carolina Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of the Arts, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the de Young Museum.

David Lusk Gallery is located at 516 Hagan Street in Nashville. Gallery hours are Tu-Sa, 10-5. For more information or visuals please contact Judith Jessup at 615-780-9990 or judith@davidluskgallery.com.

Image: Hendersonville, 1990, acrylic on canvas, 2023