New YorkMatthew Kirk: Mountain Skin
Halsey McKay presents Mountain Skin, Matthew Kirk’s first solo show with the gallery.
Kirk’s paintings exude a rhythmic intensity based in a matrix of mark-making that the artist has developed over the past decade. He freely mixes oil pastel, chalk, gouache, spray paint, graphite and acrylic, in a compositional strategy that merges a representation of the landscape of the Southwest and the freeform abstraction of music. Across Kirk’s oeuvre symbols from the natural world reappear – mountain ranges, celestial bodies, swirling and wide-eyed visages, caligraphic storm clouds and squalls. These marks are deftly built up and balanced in a distinct visual world of the artist’s own design. Kirk uses sheetrock and plywood as painting supports to celebrate the objectness of his pictorial works. Acting intuitively in the studio, these energetic all-over compositions of frenetic marks on humble materials serve as a ground to work out his thoughts about family, the stresses of daily life, and his own Navajo heritage.
Matthew Kirk (b. 1978, Ganado, AZ) lives and works in Queens, NY. A self-taught artist, he has recently had exhibitions at Fierman Gallery, New York, NY; Adams and Ollman, Portland, OR; Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Chicago, IL; Louis B. James, New York, NY; Exit Art, New York, NY. His work has been published in The New York Observer, Modern Painters, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. Kirk is a 2019 recipient of the Eiteljorg Museum Contemporary Art Fellowship in Indianapolis, IN where he will exhibit in November.Courtesy of the artist and Halsey McKay Gallery, New York