15 Bytes | Matthew Sketch: Affinity for Grace at Modern West

15 Bytes, Publication, December 10, 2020

This exhibition developed out of a body of work Matthew Sketch created during his time as the Artist in Residence at Modern West. In his first series based on landscapes, Sketch displays his virtuosity in precision. Inspired by a year of road trips, created by an aversion to commercial flying related to the pandemic, Sketch created a unique and bold perspective on the classic American vision of the traveling landscape. Similar to other bodies of Sketch’s work, this series utilizes strong tones, cleanly and perfectly separated into distinct geometric shapes.

In each piece, Matthew explores the setting sun in an geometric abstract landscape. The exhibition centers around an enveloping 6 x 6 ft. work on canvas with a sun resting on the periphery. In a seminal process for Sketch, these works are the first in which he has incorporated gold leaf. With the application of epoxy resin to the canvas, Sketch was able to display the dimension of the material. An homage to his city of residence, Salt Lake City, the mountains are reflected in half of the sun. Sketch’s commentary on the unprecedented year culminates in this body of work. The vibrant sunsets experienced in 2020 came partially from wildfire smoke. In a contrasting tone from his other concurrent projects, Sketch looks for a positive breath after a year focused on the social and political issues ravaging the United States. Sketch says of the work, “I am keen to remind the viewer that even if we anticipate the coming of dawn, we still get to enjoy the journey of the sun as it sets.”

Matthew Sketch grew up in Houston, Texas, where he worked as an industrial designer in the oil industry. Since 2012, he has practiced full-time as an artist. Solo exhibitions include Snow Carte Blanche (2019), Obligatory Consent (2018), and Simply Complicated (2017). Sketch’s work is included in several private collections in the United States.


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