Londoner Bob Matthews’ latest exhibition entitled, Garden Ruin, is on view at the Gregory Lind Gallery, San Francisco, from May 7 though June 27. Garden Ruin addresses the familiar issue of humans in nature, or in this case, superimposed on nature. Matthews’ landscapes have a certain untamed quality, likely resulting from exposure to the English style of landscape design. Although highly stylized, the English garden is known to be less formal than its strictly symmetrical French counterpart, appearing as if it occurred naturally.
There is a striking visual dichotomy present his work, especially in the oil and acrylic on wood piece Human don’t be angry. The natural wood panel contrasts with the perspectival, geometric image and shiny varnish to raise viewers’ awareness of these contributing elements. Prints like, Garden Ruin 1, broach the subject differently, by superimposing shapes over nature scenes. Without being overbearing, these shapes suggest the presence of humans in the landscape, creating a visually and psychologically unique composition.
Bob Matthews currently lives in London. He teaches at his alma mater, the Royal College of Art, where he received his MA in Printmaking. His recent curatorial endeavors include shows at Cell Project Space, London, and Aspen Museum of Contemporary Art. He has exhibited in London at the Collyer Bristow Gallery, Monika Bobinska, and the Keith Talent Gallery.