We’re coming to the end of another year fraught with so many weird, world-altering experiences. In the midst of that it’s nice to step back and enjoy some things that are relatively stable. For me, that often means seeing what’s up on the walls of my home.
I’ve posted a few other things about what artworks are up in the old Ballou homestead and I didn’t want to let 2019 slip away without showing more. So here they are.
I have loved Joey Borovicka’s strange, evocative interiors for many years. This sweet little risograph print – with that intense pink and blue – is a kind of distillation of what the artist does well: borrow, shape, and craft mood. I wrote about Borovicka’s work in the latest issue (#8) of The New Territory. Go there and subscribe!
I’ve known Ebbe since we worked together nearly 20 years ago in Evanston, IL. I’ve enjoyed watching his career develop over the years. I encourage you to look at his website – the quality is astounding. If you love masks, phantasmagorical tableaus, or CosPlay, Ebbe’s work is for you.
Stella gave me this print when she graduated. I like it quite a bit, but the way I remember it Stella’s real passion was for pigeons. She made a number of works about the birds, their colors, and their varieties during her undergraduate years. Hmmm… I might have to get me one of those, too.
Though Justin graduated from Mizzou back in 2012, his presence is still felt. He – along with a small group of other Photo students – were a real force to be reckoned with. His work has continued to develop and break interesting, strange ground. I love following his work on Instagram and was pleased to include him in a show I curated last year. Stay wild, Justin.
There you have it. Four more entries into the Ballou Collection. I’ll have to add more in 2020…
This Friday, a show of my collaborative works created with the great Joel T. Dugan goes up in Brooklyn, at es ef eff gallery. Head over to 893 Bergen Street at 7pm this Friday, February 17.
Above: a work from the exhibition, “Crest” – Acrylic, oil, pastel, colored pencil, and graphite with woodblock printing on paper mounted on panel. 11 by 11 inches, 2016-2017.
I’m also pleased to share that the Manifest Gallery painting anthology I was selected for has finally been published. It’s a beautiful volume (buy it here).
Above: one of my personal favorite paintings, beautifully reproduced. The INPA6 book features some amazing work by a lot of great artists, as well as friends and colleagues… like Nathan Sullivan and Melanie Johnson:
Above: detail of a Nathan Sullivan work from the book. Below: Melanie Johnson’s included work.
Pretty cool stuff! I’m thankful! There are a number of additional events happening this year that I will share soon – exciting times!
I’ve got a solo exhibition coming up October 5 – October 25, 2013, in Hays, Kansas. The exhibition, titled ASEVENANDAWONADOE* will take place at the Moss-Thorn Gallery of Art on the campus of Fort Hays State University. Featuring thirty new works, the exhibition will unite the representational tondos and abstract mandalas that I have been creating simultaneously over the last few years.
Here is a brief statement about the show. A longer version will be presented during the closing reception:
ASEVENANDAWONADOE* – Paintings and Prints by Matthew Ballou
This exhibition explores the reality that a vernacular of meaning is constructed through our physical, emotional, and intellectual experiences. These experiences take place in the spaces that surround us, via the ideas that fill our minds, and through the objects that engage us. Meaning is imputed to these spaces, ideas, and objects rather than being necessarily inherent in them. This notion follows from the work of 20th Century Pragmatist philosopher John Dewey, who described how we “fund” our lives with significance through investments of time, emotion, and effort. These, in turn, come together to manifest the wealth of meaning we sense in our world.
By concentrating my artistic contemplation on objects that I have funded over the course of my life, I draw attention to not only their significance but also the modes, methods, and extents to which others have done the same. Conversely, by exploring issues that previous generations have investigated, such as the mandala form and geometric abstraction, I participate in the legacy of their contemplations. In a sense, I have borrowed from the storehouse they built while adding an investment of my own. The works on display here play on the distance between representation and abstraction, between the iconic and symbolic, between the organic and geometric, and between the received and the constructed.
*ASEVENANDAWONADOE is a word my young daughter Miranda invented during the time she was learning “real” words. It combined the structures of the new words she was encountering but was also, to her, connected to abstract concepts such as mathematics, pain, comfort, and security. An entirely made up word – yet one that relied on the received information and influences my daughter experienced – ASEVENANDAWONADOE is an example of something seemingly “meaningless” taking on meaning through experience, context, and subjectivity. In adding to the history and lineage of this word by including it in this exhibition, I further shape the contours of its potential meaning and more deeply connect it to the story of our family.
Just two more mezzotints to print in the Lamentations 3:1-20 series. One is entirely complete while the other is 2/3 done. I expect I’ll be printing them by Tuesday. It’s been epic and challenging working on this series for the last 16 months. In some ways the works are so far outside of my instincts… in others they’re right in line with my sensibilities. I am super excited to see them up in just a few weeks at Gordon College. I’ll post images…
I’m beginning a series of collographic prints based on the angles of the pentagonal sides of dodecahedrons. Here are images from the first few.
All are in a range from 6 to 12 inches in diameter. I’m conceiving of them as tondos or ovoids, but haven’t decided on the orientations or how I’ll use light with them, since it’s so important to how they’re seen.
None of these prints have pigment of any kind on them.