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Matt Connors

United States of America

1973 –

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    United States of America
    Media category
    Materials used
    synthetic polymer paint and pencil on canvas
    215.9 x 167.6 cm
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated u.l. verso, pencil "Matt Connors 2021".

    Purchased with funds provided by Mark Hughes 2021
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Matt Connors

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Matt Connors

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Lightness, openness, fluidity and freshness are the defining qualities of the paintings of American Matt Connors, who at 48 is one of the quietly influential painters of his generation. Across a career in which the fortunes of painting have been argued and counter-argued, with one camp proclaiming the medium's failings while another has announced its revival or return, Connors has contributed to the vitality of his chosen medium by approaching each painting as a space for sophisticated play, poetic allusion, and intuitive formal discovery. A subtle consciousness of history, rather than direct quotations from it, can be found in all Connors' paintings, whose soaked-in colour often brings to mind the spills and flows of post-painterly abstraction from the 1960s. But 'abstract’ is a term too confining for his oblique and characterful paintings, in which shapes often hover just shy of recognisability and colour is naggingly specific. 'Radiator' is a large work distinguished by its quiet lyricism – a major work in a minor key. On a pale two-coloured ground, Connors has brushed in a large centred shape that the painting's title tells us is a radiator. But an encounter with this form, whose circular core meets us ‘face to face’, enlarges its meanings beyond the mundane. The colour orange moves in differing intensities through the interior of this form, like warmth moving through an element. And the overall form assumes a softly glowing and monumental presence, like a domestic sun or chromatic altar. The clinching element in the painting is the pale blue ‘window’ that Connors opens within the orange form, a vent or way through that makes no literal sense as part of an illustrated reality, yet heightens the radiance of the form it punctuates. Why is it there? Connors might answer: Because in a painting, it can be there. This is a work about painting’s capacity, within modest technical means, to glow. It may portray a radiator, but it also is one.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    United States of America

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

    • Swap, Xavier Hufkens, Belgium, 06 Mar 2021–03 Apr 2021

    • Matisse Alive, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 11 Oct 2021–03 Apr 2022