Hans Schmitt-Matzen


7 February – 11 March, 2017
OPENING: Saturday 11 February, 5-8pm
DiaLoGue: Wednesday 22 February, 6-7pm
15mm white neon tubes, GTO wire, electric transformer

This February Hans Schmitt-Matzen unveils his first solo show at David Lusk Gallery–Nashville. Leviathan features neon and wooden wall sculptures, and large photographs that all explore the various meanings residing in human-made marks.

Nashville-based Schmitt-Matzen has his five-year-old son to thank for inspiring the works in this exhibition. A look at his son’s art-making table made him 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, then wood, making them difficult to neglect.

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

The shows title, The Leviathan – meaning large sea creature – speaks to an imagined and unseen world. The sea is a metaphor for the unknown, the drawings that make their way into Schmitt-Matzen’s sculptures are about reaching into the depths of consciousness, searching for meanings in an innate language of marks.

Light, transmitting and reflecting, is Schmitt-Matzen’s secondary goal for this group of works. His neon works emit light, the scaly surfaces of his wooden sculptures refract light vividly, and his photos are a recreation of light moving. 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 Mag¬deburg, 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 516 Hagan Street in Nashville’s Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11-5. For more information or visuals please contact Amelia Briggs at 615.780.9990 or amelia@davidluskgallery.com

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