San Francisco, CA - Caldwell Snyder is pleased to announce the premier exhibition for Matt Rogers; highlighting a breadth of styles from his diverse artistic oeuvre including landscapes, cityscapes, and abstracted horses. From black and white abstracts to vibrant graphic landscapes, this exhibition celebrates the range of talents from an artist immersed in the rich tradition of California painting.
Born and raised in Northern California, Rogers studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. Although installation and graffiti art (Mission School) were the popular styles at that time, Rogers was moved by art of the past including the Bay Area Figurative Movement and the great Masters- Matisse and Van Gough. For him, the more paint on the canvas the better.
As a young artist, Rogers worked at Paul Thiebaud Gallery, which allowed him to visit the studios of some of the most important San Francisco artists. He forged a close friendship with Thiebaud and his father Wayne. Rogers continues to visit the elder painter for an annual critique. From Thiebaud he learned to continually ask questions of each painting: where are the entrances and exits? Are the mechanics of the picture successful? For example, does your eye continue to move across the canvas? For Rogers, the process of painting “is one of questioning, and confidence that you’ll get there”. Encouragement from some of the most respected California painters played an invaluable role in shaping that confidence.
In his landscape works, Rogers expresses himself with two distinct approaches. On the one hand, he delves into a Pop aesthetic with candy colors, rounded hillsides and cotton candy trees. On the other, he focuses on the complete drama of the California geography. In his black and white series, he elegantly renders dramatic vistas accented with small houses and a few manicured trees. The monochromatic works highlight the expansive nature of the California landscape, paired with slightly abstracted skies and brooding shadows.
If his early work was defined by the Bay Area figurative movement, the Dark Horse series is likely his greatest diversion. In fact, Abstract Expressionism, the very movement that Bay Area Figurative artists were trying to distance themselves from, seems to be an undercurrent in this body of work. Abstracted views of racing horses serve as the loose subject matter for this powerful series. Horse hooves and legs are often so abstracted that they resemble Robert Motherwell’s Elegy series. His choice of black and white on stark white backdrops emphasizes the motion, chaos and elegance of the horse all in one.
Never before displayed in unison, this exhibition will feature Rogers range of styles; expressing the evolving generation of California artists.
“Matt Rogers, Recent Paintings” March 2014 Caldwell Snyder Gallery 341 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
Contact: Christina Maybaum (415) 392-2299 www.caldwellsnyder.com