New York Art Exhibitions: ‘Matt Bollinger – Station’

Bollinger, Uncle Dave, 2023 (MBO 23.003) 2
Matt Bollinger, Uncle Dave, 2023.

François Ghebaly Gallery, New York City (April 27, 2023) – François Ghebaly is proud to present Station by Matt Bollinger. Ithaca-based artist Matt Bollinger works from a complex interdisciplinary base: as painter, draftsman, animator, and elegist, he creates work that straddles the projects of both visual art and narrative fiction.

Matt Bollinger – Station

April 22 – May 27, 2023

His stories, by and large, are of America’s rural working class–each is told through a bricolage of memory, family history, direct observation, art-historical research, and literary invention. For his latest exhibition, Bollinger chronicles the semi-fictional inhabitants of a rural central Missourian community, offering in the process ruminative, disillusioned vignettes of the real ‘American Dream.’

Bollinger, Brothers V, 2022 (MBO 22.005) 1
Matt Bollinger, Brothers V, 2022.

Spanning the far wall, Uncle Dave (2023) is the most ambitious work in Bollinger’s show–with its impressive vertical dimension, some eight feet-tall, the painting acts as an anchor to the New York gallery space, drawing the eye in and upward. The work depicts three sanitation workers surrounding the bright yellow cab of a dump truck. Framed by wildflowers underfoot and the scintillating glare of another truck’s headlight, the men are shown in progressive life stages.

Bollinger, Cape Hollow II, 2022 (MBO 22.002) 1
Matt Bollinger, Cape Hollow II, 2022.

At the far right, the youth holds a rake and stares listlessly out of view. The middle-aged man, partially obscured, gestures forward with a lighter and a yellow traffic flag, while the eldest is positioned above the other men and descends from the cab, directly confronting the viewer’s gaze. The work’s triadic symbol of labor, class, and the passage of time ––alongside compositional affinities, somewhere between Courbet and religious genre painting ––underscores many of the themes latent both in the exhibition title and in the artist’s work at large.


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