Matthew Swanson

Macatawa, 2018
mixed media collage
16 x 16 in

About the Artist

Matthew Swanson


I consider myself to be a postmodern artist, primarily, and a student of those who came before me. I follow a line that begins with Cezanne and ends with the California landscape school. Along the way you will see traces of Kandinsky, the Fauves, Matisse. Marin, Diebenkorn and Hockney. They show up in my landscape paintings, but for the past few years I have begun using collage in the tradition of the Abstract Expressionists. Collage is a tool I use to bring the smaller landscapes into a larger format. It helps to simplify the forms and frees me from the trap of ‘local color’. Though more abstract, the landscape still lies beneath. And don’t get me started on Minimalism and flatness. To paraphrase Matisse (or the Fauves)- “It’s not everything, but its close.” 

Artist Bio:

Matthew Frank Swanson was born November 1961 in Fremont, Michigan. A graduate of Fremont High School, Matt went on to study Studio Art and American Literature at Albion College, Michigan State, Kendall and Aquinas College; pursuing a BFA in in Sculpture with minors and in Painting and Art History. After college, Mr. Swanson worked for T.C. Downtown gallery in Grand Rapids, Art Express, and Chrysler Framing. He began his own framing gallery, Artwise, in 1994. Regrettably, Artwise closed in 2003 and Matt found himself in the picturesque community of Douglas/Saugatuck where he continued to show his work at The Kubiak Gallery and Mix Media Gallery. Currently works are on exhibition at the J. Petter Galleries in Douglas, Michigan. Mr. Swanson’s work can be found in private and corporate collections including Herman Miller, Steelcase, and Holland Hospital.  


My work is improvisational. I start with an idea fragment and it takes its own path. Along the way I find that I become a problem solver while I try and wrangle the ideas back into some kind of form. I like to think that the pieces are a kind of musical expression with movement, syncopation, and popping color. At the end of the “process” I hope to find a convincing object.

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