Our first exhibit of 2018 features the paintings of Robert Mattson.
Robert has been an artist for over 50 years. His large abstract paintings have been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums throughout his long career including the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Walker Art Center. He currently lives on the Crow River in New London, MN. When he is not painting he is most certainly fishing or fly tying.
What is the most indispensable item in your studio? My chair is an indispensable item as I spend most of my time looking at works in progress
What is your dream art project? To build the ideal studio in the woods. It would have at least two walls of floor to ceiling windows and a comfortable chair.
How has your artistic practice changed over time? When I switched from oil paint to acrylic some years ago I had to also change my methods and strategies for making paintings.
The process of painting that most suits my needs has been called a spontaneous/intuitive one. This means I do very little planning and let the painting develop as I work. Oil paint, which dries very slowly, allowed me to linger and study what was happening and make alterations hours or even days later. Acrylic paint, on the other hand, dries very quickly often within minutes. If, for example, I need to eliminate an element I need to make that decision within four or five minutes. I do this with a rag and a spray bottle which I keep handy. If the paint is allowed to dry it must be partially or completely overpainted or some other solution must be found. Both situations have produced effects that were new to me and either delightful or not.
Acrylic paint has necessitated that I have at least a vague plan before I start. Working in a series has made this easier as each new painting suggests another. The transition from oil to acrylic paint has presented me with a new set of challenges which, I think, has kept me on my toes and the work fresh. As an artist working in this fashion you never want to know too much about what you’re doing.
Recent Works by Robert Mattson runs January 8 – February 2, 2018.