Edward Thorp Gallery is pleased to present a show of recent works in various media and scale by Matthew Blackwell. For this, the artist’s seventh solo show at the Gallery, he will explore the theme Nueva Frontera. Literally meaning the New Frontier, in this show, Blackwell takes us once again on a vision quest of Maine, Western New York State, and New Mexico, where his family resides.
His cast of characters includes men, women, objects, and animals-- often half human hybrids. These protagonists, (hero’s, villains, and the undecided), all struggling to be heard in a landscape where fact and fiction, belief and doubt are at the nexus of every day life. In these uncertain times of conflicting convictions the question arises-- is this a phase or a turning point?
This crossroads is where Blackwell’s figures find themselves gazing out onto this New Frontier. They could be characters from songs, and bound to mine gold in the hills of Mexico, or others may already be ghosts. They’re driving obsolete Plymouth Belvedere’s towards some border--Canada, Mexico? Fight or Flee?
Blackwell’s figures live defiantly in the moment, with humor and romance. It’s an inspired vision of America where the story is a slow read revealing itself over a long period of time, much like how he creates his paintings. These can often start with a ferocity but ultimately reveal themselves attentively and slowly, cautionary tales for the outside world.