Reynolds Gallery to host first Richmond exhibition of work by Matt Kleberg: Blind Arcade
September 6 @ 7:00 pm - November 1 @ 9:00 pm
Reynolds Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by New York artist Matt Kleberg. Blind Arcade will premiere with a public reception from 7 to 9pm on September 6 and will remain on view through November 1, 2019.
Blind Arcade marks the first solo exhibition in Richmond for Matt Kleberg, whose work has appeared in several group installations at Reynolds Gallery since 2018. The exhibition is comprised of large and small-scale paintings of oil and oil stick on canvas, rendered in deep reds, varying earth tones, off-whites, and near-blacks. In addition to these more subtle tones, Kleberg includes thoughtfully placed areas of vibrant colors – mustardy yellows, hot pinks, and rich navy shades add a radiant intensity to the paintings.
Kleberg’s imagery is primarily informed by daily architectural observations in his Brooklyn neighborhood, where industrial details converge amongst the curvilinear forms of arches and entryways. These observances are transformed into imagined spaces that reference both practical and ornamental structures – such as the titular ‘blind arcade’; noted by the artist as a succession of connected arches that “suggest an entrance but offer none,” existing primarily as a decorative element for the respective structure.
In addition to the “architectural moments” Kleberg has described, he also cites inspirations as varied as Mexican and Turkish textiles, Byzantine paintings, and Southern Gothic literature. A childhood spent in Forth Worth, TX, exploring books of western art and admiring the paintings of European masters and contemporary artists at local museums, helped shape Kleberg’s initial perspectives on art. These early sourced spurred the development of a practice which was initially concerned with a figurative art. As time went on, the works shifted into its present for; allowing architectural imagery to become the focal point and subject. Speaking in a 2016 interview with Maake Magazine, Kleberg described the scenes in his paintings as spaces “where the ‘actor’ or ‘action’ was implied but not depicted.”
Exploring initial ideas through numerous loosely-rendered ink drawings; Kleberg invents unusual interiors that have been likened to porticos, theater stages, altars and similar spaces which frame the actions that may take place inside of them. His lines, while consciously imperfect, display precise shifts in form, depth, and color when viewed from a distance. The works are intensely graphic and appear carefully planned, though up-close inspection reveals the fluidity of Kleberg’s process and the revisions he enacts as each painting develops over time.
For this most recent body of work, the artist introduces distinctly playful imagery in the form of contiguous, rippled lines hovering in the foreground of several works. These wobbly, column-like forms display shifts in color that suggest a “meaty” physicality. Through his paintings, such as the humorously titled Double Bacon Balustrade, Kleberg reminds viewers to appreciate the diverse and often amusing forms that can be discovered within the buildings and ornamentation we witness in our daily lives.
About Matt Kleberg
Born in Kingsville, Texas, Matt Kleberg received his BA from the University of Virginia in 2008 and his MFA from the Pratt Institute in 2015. Recent exhibitions include Mulherin New York, New York, NY; Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, VA; Morgan Lehman Gallery New York, NY; Johansson Projects, California; Barry Whistler Gallery, Texas; Hiram Butler Gallery, Texas; and Albada Jelgersma Gallery, Netherlands. His work has been written about in Maake Magazine, The New York Times, The Brooklyn Rail, Painting is Dead, Artsy, Vice, ArtDaily, New American Paintings, Blouin Artinfo, ArtMaze Magazine, Artillery Magazine and others. His work is included in public and private collections including the the Williams College Museum of Art, the University of California Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the National Gallery of Art. Kleberg lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.