Lee Matthews / London / UK
Cornell University / BFA painting / USA 2005
Slade School of Fine Arts / MFA painting / UK 2006
Turps Banana / Correspondence Course / 2019
I work from quiet observation, searching for moments of stillness and painting from life. My work is autobiographical, I paint the people closest to me, connecting and making sense of the moment and my place within it, witnessing or participating.
Lyrical interpretations of colour help me paint the sense-memory of a scene. A hazy knowing, when smells and sensations overlap and confuse each other. I like to have an emotional entry point into the images, it can be a friend’s performance, children struggling to read or my sister in the sunshine on holiday. The paintings glow in a familiar light and like stills from a home movie they reflect our own experiences.
Growing up I was surrounded by artists and in their spaces. I went to my first life drawing class at 9. As a teenager I assisted artists all over NYC; cleaning their brushes, preparing their canvases and studios. My summers were spent giving tours in museums and interning in galleries. Those spaces felt other-worldly and magical and that feeling has stayed with me. The escapism and joy I found there and still find today in my painting is both why I make work and what I aspire to capture.
The hands and fragmented actions in my paintings are symbolic of artistic practices. In that way, the work is about the moments I’m recording and, equally, about my desire to paint from them. My paintings observe the every-day and commemorate painting from it.
2022 Dentons Art Prize, Shortlisted Exhibition London
2022 This Years Model Part III, Studio 1.1 Gallery London
2022 In Formation, Thames Side Studio Gallery London
2021 Awaiting Voices, Mi-Sul Gallery Online London
2021 In Response, Nunnery Gallery London
2021 Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Prize Online Exhibition
2021 In Absentia, CoHort Art
2021 Kingsgate Workshops Trust Open Studios, London
2021 The Horses Mouth, Bomb Factory Art Foundation, London
2020 Kingsgate Workshops Trust Open Studios, London
2019 Art West Open, ACAVA Studios Hythe Rd, London
2017 Topophobophilia, Mclusky Bell & Young; Gallery 46, London
2012 ACAVA Cremer St, Open Studios, London
2007 Reconnaissance, The Empire Gallery London
2007 The Celeste Art Prize / Shortlisted / London
2006 The Slade MFA Degree Show, London UK
2005 Fresh Milk Presents:Current Painting, Milk Gallery, NY
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