Christy Matson: 12 Recent Works

Friday, Apr 16 – May 29, 2021

1709 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622

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Volume Gallery is pleased to announce the third solo exhibition of new work by Christy Matson, an artist who weaves and works in Los Angeles, CA. Opening on April 16th, 2021, this exhibition presents 12 new pieces by Matson.

Matson’s dimensional woven works of yarn, paper, and paint center conceptually on their own making, with visual patterns built through the arrangements of yarn in a grid. By creating the pictorial image and the supporting structure of each work simultaneously, she creates a feedback loop that cycles between optical and tactile properties. Color and composition converge with texture to make the organization of threads within the weaving visible on the work’s surface—modified grid compositions emerge and reemerge in a new scale, a sequence in which the thing itself informs the making of the thing. In an iterative progression, the feedback from each gesture hopes for the next one, scanning for new lines of sight. It’s a methodology that allows for learning and growth.

In this new body of work, Matson paints the threads of both warp and weft, building layers of color that intersect in the weaving, interrupted by bubbles of painted paper yarn that burst up from its surface. Her artworks are washed in color where dye permeates fiber, bleeding from thread to thread to blur the grid on which they are organized, with subtle gradations flushing into sudden shades. Matson’s freedom with color highlights her interest in both constraint and precision.

During the pandemic, her approach to her studio time has altered: by painting, she is able to work in intermittent stages, leaving the color to dry while she cares for her daughter. Informed by the aesthetics of care work, her artwork refers to domestic textiles through familiar woven patterns like ticking stripes, gingham, subtle florals, and overshot. These patterns have rich and varied histories from hand looms to textile factories and carry strongly gendered associations with home and family. In a year in which the work of the home has been brought into sharp relief, Matson’s new body of work captures the beauty, necessity, and tedium of domestic labor.

Matson’s works cite time-honored designs that reflect the right-angled crossing pattern of their internal support and reference patterns that are everywhere—from the rags she uses in her studio to the towels found in most kitchens. Against such homey, familiar motifs, the colored splotches in Matson’s pieces evoke the stains those rags pick up in their everyday use. If a striped kitchen towel is a ubiquitous cloth, the stains that towel picks up through daily use are unique personal embellishments. Stains make us aware of history: they are the past that textiles bring with them to the present.

Matson’s new methods, rhythms, and timely concerns reflect the current moment and build on an acclaimed career.