Matt Rich


Matt Rich Biography

Using complex compositional structures and assembly practices that make his building process transparent, Rich's painted paper works accentuate materiality and activate space. These assemblages playfully invalidate the need for the traditional stretched canvas. Compositions emerge from the outside-in or the inside-out, or as conversations between independent, partially developed elements. The finished compositions can resemble sprawling landscapes or intimate portrait-like engagements using a visual language that shifts from geometric to architectural to organic and irregular. Installed directly on the wall, each piece dances between flatness and three-dimensionality, blurring clear material/spatial boundaries. In a similar style, Rich's small, dense gouaches describe irregular and invented forms that veer from the fully abstract to the vaguely representational. Charged with their own language and internal logic, each gouache composition is built into being with a vocabulary of shapes and procedures.

Rich was born in Boston, MA in 1976. In 1998, he received his BA in Visual Arts and History of Art and Architecture from Brown University, Providence, RI, and his MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago in 2004. In 2010, he attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and was a finalist for the James and Audrey Foster Prize at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. His works are held in the permanent collections of List Visual Arts Center at MIT and The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City. He has received fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Terra Foundation for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. His work has been reviewed by Modern Painters, Artforum, ArtPapers, and The Boston Globe. Rich's work has been included in solo and group exhibitions in venues such as: Project Row Houses, Houston; devening projects + editions, Chicago; Samson Projects, Boston; Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton, NY; Baer Ridgway Exhibitions in San Francisco; galerie oqbo in Berlin; and DODGEgallery and BravinLee Programs in New York City.