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Mathew R Weaver

Recent Work

July 14 - Sept 4, 2022

A layered visual diary through paintings.  Both the front and the back of the canvas are a painted collection of thoughts and time, written, and recorded with untiring energy.  The foundation of each work come from the recycling of the objects that show through the subsequent dense overlay of color; just as pieces of our own past, our own memories surface in our everyday lives.  (excerpted description by Barbara La Rocco)

Artist Bio

Listening and memory are the basis of Mathew Weaver’s artistic practice. Those activities are often
associated with stillness and quiet, but his is an active listening, a protean remembering.

Weaver grew up dyslexic at a time when the condition was poorly understood and rarely diagnosed. He struggled with his own schoolwork, yet he learned to translate Braille so he could help a blind classmate with his homework. He found it strangely, wonderfully easy to decipher the output of the Braille embosser, whereas each letter of the alphabet brought on a flood of associative activity—a constellation of (incorrect) word choices.

After moving to New York in 1984, poetry became a profoundly important part of his life. He attended poetry readings almost weekly, at the 92 nd Street Y, Poetry House, The Dia Foundation, and bookstores all over the city. While the voices washed over him, he made abstract drawings on the
programs—synthesizing listening and mark-making into one activity. The spoken word enabled him to
indulge a love of language and wordplay, and lines of poetry began to appear as one of the many layers in his paintings.

That same year he began working as an exhibits installer and framer for the Cooper Hewitt museum. He never felt more intimately connected to the act of art-making as when, alone in his work space, he was able to look at the oil sketches of Winslow Homer or Frederick Church under magnification, to identify the last marks the artist made—the moment of completion. In tribute to invisible art-world workers, the backs of his paintings are as activated as the fronts, and often include some of the most surprising inclusions among the collaged elements.

For some, Weaver’s obsessive and idiosyncratic mark-making will obscure meaning. For those with
attention and curiosity, it will reveal a map to the most often visited places of his intellectual life: the
paintings of Piero della Francesca and Paul Klee, the poems of Rainer Maria Rilke, Carolyn Kaiser,
Stephen Dunn, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Louise Gluck. The painted surfaces mask or reveal aspects of
memory as embodied in the collaged detritus of his life—photographs, credit cards, show invitations, movie ticket stubs—that make the base layer of each painting. Their colorful webs of connections give form to the stuff—literal and metaphorical—of life. 

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