Andy Mattern, Absent Vessel - 5647b
In the gallery alcove…

Andy Mattern

Absent Vessel

October 24 – December 20, 2013

Reception: Friday, November 8, 6-8 PM


This fall in the gallery alcove Andy Mattern’s recent work, Absent Vessel (2013) will be on display. Mattern uses the camera-less process of the photogram to represent a collection of crushed polystyrene cups. These former containers from a variety of fast food chains and gas stations were found in the street, flattened by cars into fragile apron-like shapes. Treated like paper negatives, each of these urban artifacts was individually pressed against a sheet of photographic paper in the darkroom and exposed to light, a reference to the origins of photography and the impulse to catalog unique phenomena. As the light gradually passes through each form, the graphics and textures from both sides are merged into a new uncanny surface. Mattern received the Artist Printing Fellowship from Photo Center NW in 2013. These photograms were created in the PCNW darkroom.

Andy Mattern is a visual artist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He holds a BFA in studio art from the University of New Mexico and an MFA in photography from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Mattern’s often mundane subjects observe the unwitting collaboration between people and the built environment. His photographs and drawings cooly investigate the artifacts of unconscious actions in public spaces. Without focusing directly on people, but instead the traces we leave behind, Mattern puts an undue emphasis on the unintentional aspects of our experience. Visually, his work employs a minimal aesthetic and operates between abstraction and
hyperrealism, problematizing the document and pointing to the limits of human control over our environment.

Mattern’s work has been exhibited at the Lawndale Art Center, DeVos Art Museum, Okay Mountain, Katherine E. Nash Gallery, Prøve Gallery, and the Peri Centre for Photography in Turku, Finland. His work has been published online at Fraction Magazine, Humble Arts Foundation, and numerous blogs such as iheartphotograph, Conscientious, and FlakPhoto. He has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Art Shanty Projects, and Springboard for the Arts. His work is included in the Tweed Museum of Art’s permanent collection.