Attentive to physicality, Matthew Craven’s works on paper are laboriously hand-drawn on the backs of large vintage movie posters, adding a layer of age to pieces already absorbed in the passage of time. Often acquiring several copies of the same vintage textbook, he collages repeating images of ancient art and archaeological remains onto hand-drawn geometric patterns inspired by textiles and decoration from around the world. Craven's fusions erase particularity, suggesting the primacy of geometric abstraction in our visual vocabulary and implying that patterns and perhaps histories across cultures reflect rather than oppose each other. Relying exclusively on educational and travel sources, his juxtapositions have an eerie déjà-vu quality, a result of the cultural bedrock that is embedded in our psyches.
Matthew Craven was born in Michigan. He earned a BFA from Michigan State University, and received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts, NY. He has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad, including solo and two-person exhibitions at Hashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco; Ampersand Gallery, Portland; David Shelton Gallery, Houston; DCKT Contemporary, NY; Allegra LaViola Gallery, NY; Marvelli Gallery, NY; Gallery Hijinks, San Francisco; Packing, Detroit; 101/Exhibit, Los Angeles; and Get This! Gallery, Atlanta. Group exhibitions include Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco; Mini Galerie, Amsterdam, NL; Essex Flowers, NY; Danese/Corey, NY; Hashimoto Contemporary, Los Angeles; SPRING/BREAK, NY; Muster-Meier, Switzerland; Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles; Perry Rubenstein, NY; and The Hole, NY; among others. He has participated in residencies with Marfa Myths Festival, TX; Tilleard Projects, Lamu Island, Kenya; The Jaunt, Bali, Indonesia; and The Watermill Center, NY. Craven has been reviewed in Juxtapoz Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Art Critical, The Huffington Post, Art F City, and Burnaway, and has curated exhibitions at DCKT, Asya Geisberg Gallery, and Nudashank.