David Shelton Gallery is pleased to present MULTI~CURSAL, which features new collage works on paper by Matthew Craven. Craven has long been interested in the universality of symbols and patterns referencing textiles, painted pottery and mosaics from across the world. Newfound elements have emerged, extracted from botanical encyclopedias and Historical textbooks. Focusing entirely on vintage collage elements, the large pieces in this exhibition are bursting with a dizzying array of patterns and colors and entirely composed of found materials, some over 50 years old. All of the work is composed on the reverse sides of vintage B-movie posters, forming each work’s foundation–patinaed, browned, stained or torn from a previous life. Where previously the artist drew inspiration from travel and in-person visits to book shops across the country, strict lockdown orders and a relocation have turned his references inward.
Now living the in San Francisco Bay Area, Craven’s life has become connected to his partner’s career as a florist. Going on flower walks became a needed routine during the pandemic. Slowly, the imagery from the walks became the focal point of this new body of work. The laborious and time-consuming process of these creations requires slowing down, it’s a form of meditation.
Matthew Craven was born in Michigan. He earned his BFA from Michigan State University and received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. 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; Asya Geisberg Gallery, New York; DCKT Contemporary, New York; Allegra LaViola Gallery, New York; Marvelli Gallery, New York; Gallery Hijinks, San Francisco; Packing, Detroit; 101/Exhibit, Los Angeles; and Get This!, Atlanta. Group exhibitions include at Guerrero Gallery, Los Angeles; Part 2, Oakland; Volery Gallery, Dubai; Mini Galerie, Amsterdam; Essex Flowers, New York; Danese/Corey, New York; Hashimoto Contemporary, Los Angeles; SPRING/BREAK, New York; Muster-Meier, Switzerland; Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles; Perry Rubenstein, New York; and The Hole, New York; among others. He has participated in residencies at Marfa Myths Festival, TX; Tilleard Projects, Lamu Island, Kenya; The Jaunt, Bali, Indonesia; and The Watermill Center, New York. Craven has been reviewed in Justapoz Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Art Critical, The Huffington Post, Art F City and Burnaway, and has curated exhibitions at Asya Geisberg Gallery and DCKT in New York and Nudashank in Baltimore.