Hans Schmitt-Matzen

The Embodied Line

11 October– 12 November 2016
OPENING: Friday 14 October 6-8 pm
TALK: Saturday 22 October, 11am
The Chimera, 2016, 15mm neon tubes, GTO wire, electronic transformer, 45x70”

David Lusk Gallery – Memphis announces Hans Schmitt-Matzen’s first solo exhibition with the Gallery. His show, The Embodied Line, features neon wall sculptures and painted digital photographs on panel that explore the various meanings residing in human made marks.

Nashville-based Schmitt-Matzen has his five-year-old son to thank for the neon works in this exhibition. A look at his son’s art-making table made Schmitt-Matzen contemplate how artistic gestures arrive at their meanings, and how simple forms can appear to be complete ideas. Wondering if there is a language of marks that is innate to us, he chose to emulate his son’s marks into the grander medium of neon, making them difficult to neglect.

Schmitt-Matzen states, “I have always loved the way neon tubes appear to harness light. I view them as non-objects that reveal themselves as a delicate and ephemeral ether. Neon is a poetic choice for me.”

His process (like his son’s) begins with hundreds of simple sketches. He later sifts through each drawing, searching for lines that embody something meaningful, selecting a few to get translated into neon or digital prints. The interpretation of these marks raises this important question: Are the meanings embedded in a gesture derived from aspects of our bodily experience?

Schmitt-Matzen’s digital prints on panel resemble light drawings in photography. Tracer patterns of light float above dark backgrounds, as if partially submerged in water. He paints back into each print, playing with depth and surface – permanence and transience. He states, “Light is the fastest thing that we know. Perhaps that makes it a perfect metaphor for representing fleeting moments of comprehension.”

Hans Schmitt-Matzen lives in Nashville. He received his BFA in painting and philosophy from Middle Tennessee State University. His work has recently been exhibited in group shows at MDR in Magdeburg, Germany, Like the Spice Gallery in Brooklyn, Salisbury University Gallery in Baltimore, Track 13 Gallery, and Zeitgeist Gallery in Nashville. When he is not drawing with his sons, he is actively involved in curatorial work for private and public institutions.

David Lusk Gallery is located at 97 Tillman. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 10-5:30 and Saturday 11-4. For more information or visuals please contact Amelia Briggs at 901 767 3800 or amelia@davidluskgallery.com.

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