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Drawing on the signposts of our age, from the literal signs we see on interstate highways to the texts we view on our phones, to the clusters of lights that crowd urban landscapes at night, Magee has synthesized these forms into his own vision of painting and assemblage. Whether in the age-old process of paint or ink on a blank surface or in a new process of cut-up aluminum cans arranged on a board or an orderly attachment of pebbles on boards, Magee's work makes us look at our world anew. Grounded in ancient traditions of map-making in Polynesia and Australia, Magee utilizes the common threads that cross cultural traditions to create a new way of seeing.
John Molloy Gallery is pleased to announce PAINTINGS & TEXTCAVATIONS: new work by Matt Magee, opening on November 5, 2015 with a reception for the artist from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The show runs until December 5. Fresh from his second residency at the Anni & Josef Albers Foundation, Magee adds new materials and insights to his already impressive body of work.
Symbols permeate the exhibition. They are taken from daily life and gain new meaning through an exploration of their formal qualities. The format for INGOT is borrowed from the shape of Koranic verse at the Topkapi. STUDY FOR NARITA and STUDY FOR FRANKFORT are based on airport floorplans and WINDOW is informed by a window at the Hagia Sofia. Magee is no newcomer when it comes to exploring the gap between art and life. As an archivist for Robert Rauschenberg for eighteen years, he is deeply conscious of the meaning of “responsive action,” Rauschenberg’s view that art should be impulsive, spontaneous and avoid filters. Magee addresses this dictum with his own lexicon, utilizing automatic writing in both THOUGHTLINES and LETTER TO JONATHAN STICKNEY McDONALD.
Magee (b.1961) lives and works at Cattle Ranch in Phoenix, Arizona. His works are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the University of New Mexico Museum, the Cleveland Clinic Art Program and others. His work has been widely exhibited for more than thirty years with recent solo exhibitions at Inde/Jacobs in Marfa, James Kelly Contemporary in Santa Fe and Hiram Butler Gallery in Houston.