1981 · New Zealand
As Matthew Allen’s works attest, there is still much to explore regarding the painted surface. A point of inquiry for artists for more than a generation, Allen updates this exploration in his strikingly streamlined and process-driven compositions.
Working primarily in his most recent series with polish graphite on linen, Allen uses the minimal nature of his materials to create subtle variations in tone across his compositions. The result are works that appear to be mirror smooth and machine-made, as if reflecting a pool of liquid mercury. His play with display – hanging some as traditional paintings on a wall, leaving others to lean upon it as they reach down to the floor – and reflection create a unique sensation for those who have the opportunity to take them in.
A native of Auckland, New Zealand, Allen studied in Australia and graduated with a Master of Visual Arts degree from the University of Sydney in 2006. Allen is now based in Amsterdam. In recent years he has enjoyed the exhibition of his work in various locales across Australia and Europe, and in 2013 he was included among the finalists in100 Painters of Tomorrowheld at London’s Beers Lambert Gallery.