Beginnings â€“ is proud to highlight this particular arc of Matt Leinesâ€™ painting career, one rich in purpose and lucidity. Those who follow his work may have noticed a shift in the last few years, somebody flipped a switch in the artistâ€™s brainâ€“or maybe spun a dialâ€“and all sorts of things began to happen: visible spectrum increasing, palette spinning out, subjects becoming more universal and less referential. In jazz-speak, heâ€™d been Miles Ahead, but now suddenly weâ€™re On the Corner. An old man in the cave burning the soft sage of enlightenment (possibly holding a formless trumpet). And in that rarest of artistic progressions, something newish and exciting occurred, a good thing. Did he have a mountaintop experience, Damascus road or swinging acid journey? No, sir. First there was Da Vinci, then Picasso and now there is Matt Leines and this show is called Hyperbolic.
Ever the patient and earnest image-maker, surrealist sign-painter and erstwhile myth-shaper, Leines relocated to New York after a spell in Philadelphia during the year in which the world was scheduled to end. Settling into a fresh rhythm, he began a series of paintings that drew on those familiar rituals, traced the good olâ€™ sigils, but manipulated colors and shapes from the present with an attitude more formal, bright and tight. The young man in the studio considering a renaissanceâ€“small â€œrâ€. Real, live inscrutable people and chattering patterns. A happy creature drifting through the kitchen cosmos. Native American name-givers and the zig-zag of eternity. Leinesâ€™ recent output is a reminder that creative, figurative work has always been foundational to modern art. Itâ€™s not for nothing that we drew calves on caves, not for no one that we carved horses on hills. Yes, sir. No weaknesses now, only strength. No enemies and no pain. Canâ€™t lose. Canâ€™t win. Step under the halogen lights as Hyperbolic begins.
Matt Leines is a New Jersey born painter who has recently returned to the New York area, currently living and working in Brooklyn. His work has been shown at Clementine Gallery, Deitch Projects, and The Hole in New York; Roberts and Tilton and New Image Art in Los Angeles; as well as international venues in Sweden, Italy, Spain, and Japan. His first monograph, You Are Forgiven, was published by Free News Projects in 2008 and Neighborhood Kids was recently released as part of the Everyday Life Colouring Book series by A.P.C., Paris.