Matt Bollinger — Between the Days


Collage, mixed media

Matt Bollinger
Between the Days

Past: May 12 → June 16, 2012

The only thing that lingers on from adolescence, in most cases, is a collection of mementos whose images occasionally loom back up into memory. In the light of the present, they may seem to have turned pale, yet they stand out insistently as illustrations of the anxiety or pleasure that an agitated dream can produce on awakening.

Matt Bollinger experienced them uneasily, to begin with, but at a certain point he discovered that he could cast light on them through drawing. Figures and landscapes began emerging from the shadows — ghostly kin and familiar places, set down directly on paper like scenes from a film noir. He executed a large three-part drawing, About Midnight Saturday, 2010-2011, in graphite on paper, assembled like a panoramic screen and accompanied by a cardboard loudspeaker that played a soundtrack of his father recounting the tragic evening when he was stabbed several times. This referential work, exhibited in November 2011 at Zürcher Studio in New York, and in January 2012 at Art Los Angeles Contemporary, finds a response in the present exhibition with a large color collage, Grand Prairie School, 2012.

Bollinger painted pieces of paper that he tore up and successively glued onto the surface, from background to foreground, so that the sense of the color combined with that of the material, as if it were possible to “touch the color”. In this work, the fact of placing two different instants in parallel in a continuous space, and accompanying the narrative character of the subject with the tactile dimension of the collage, produces the effect of a physical presence. These collages, with their indefinable impressions, aligned to precise, detailed memories, generate a feeling of nostalgia and solitude that relates to lived experience and real events.

Revisiting his past in Kansas City, Missouri, Bollinger’s drawings and collages are, as it were, story boards containing methodically-noted, though apparently featureless, autobiographical episodes, in a bleak atmosphere of classrooms and locker rooms. And then there are outdoor scenes from the vicinity of a shopping mall. As a real cineast, Bollinger writes the script and does the filming. There are static views : boys immobilized in “stills”, zoom shots onto a façade and close-ups of objects such as a book with a mottled cover, partly burned. Standing out against the background banality of the places and situations there are forms with subtle tones, subdued or contrasted. The sense of the composition dominates the representation of the objects. But what is important, above all, is the production of signs in an abstract space.

Bernard Zurcher
Zürcher Gallery Gallery
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The artist

  • Matt Bollinger