Kate Fowle and Jack Hanley Gallery are pleased to present Matt Bryans first solo exhibition in New York. Based in London and working internationally, Bryans is known for his obsessive repurposing of common materials such as newspaper, wood, mud, and foil, to create drawings, installations and large-scale collages. Through labor intensive processes such as erasure, burning, hammering and sanding, the artist transforms his matter in search of its inherent character before re-compiling it to create new narratives.
Leaving his studio behind, Bryans describes his latest works as charting a kind of psychedelic road trip, which takes him from the flooded banks of the river Lea, to the forecourt of the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, and under the arches of London bridge. Continuously looking to the ground and making use of what he finds along the way—from washed up footballs, to a dead hedgehog, and parts of burned out cars—he creates ‘live’ or ephemeral works that he compulsively photographs as they evolve, as if to see the objects and actions more clearly.
The resulting new series consist of over 2500 different 35mm photographs compiled in grids. Reaching up to twelve feet long, Bryans likens the large-scale works to the backgrounds in Medieval tapestries, wherein “many small squares and geometric shapes fizz away behind the illustrated scenes, flattening out the distance between foreground and background.” Creating some kind of crazed order from an intuitive act, the grids are a simultaneous perspective on the process of looking over time, which in turn become mesmerizing and disorienting images in their own right.
Matt Bryans was born in Croydon in 1977, and lives and works in London. Recent solo exhibitions include: Matt Bryans Kate Macgarry Gallery, London, UK (2008); Matt Bryans, Galerie Martin von Zumeren, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2008); Matt Bryans, Atlanta Center of Contemporary Art, Atlanta, GA (2006); Matt Bryans Kate Macgarry Gallery, London, UK (2006); Picture This!, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium (2005).
Group shows include: Pastiche, S.A.I.R Jyderup, Denmark (2009); Anatomie les Peux du Dessin: Collection Florence and Daniel Guerlain, Fonds Regional d’art Contemporain de Picardie, France (2009); Stray Alchemists, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, (2008); The Melody of Youth (with Sam Basu) Kate Macgarry Gallery, London, UK (2008); System Error, War is a Force That Gives us Meaning, Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena, Italy, (2007); Travaux sur Papier, Galerie Art Concept, Paris, France (2007); Collage Effect, 1301PE, Los Angeles, CA (2006); Looking at Words: The Formal Presence of Text in Modern Art and Contemporary Works on Paper, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NY (2006); Out of Line: drawings from the collection of Sherrie and Joel Mallin, Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Cornel University, Ithaca, NY (2006); Pin-up, Tate Modern, London (2004).