Matt Bollinger: Labor Day

M+B is pleased to announce Labor Day, an exhibition of new paintings by Matt Bollinger. This is the artist’s first show with the gallery, and his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. The exhibition will run from October 30 through November 28, 2020, with an opening reception on Friday, October 30 from 12 pm to 6 pm. 


On Friday, October 30, the gallery will host an all-day opening reception from noon until 6pm. Visitors are required to wear masks, and capacity will be limited to no more than ten people at one time.  


Matt Bollinger’s paintings deftly chronicle life in small town Middle America, providing a textured and poignant treatment of class rarely addressed in contemporary art. Shaped by his own experiences growing up in Missouri, the artist creates a world that reflects the precariousness of blue-collar existence. The paintings explore what it means to be white and working class today, offering an honest look into the lives of auto mechanics and Walmart employees and their Sisyphean struggle to achieve the American Dream. 


In his approach to storytelling, Bollinger focuses on quotidian details and quiet moments to build the atmospherics of a fictional small town. He depicts storefronts and domestic spaces, as well as ordinary moments of everyday life: two women, at the end of their shift, share a cigarette in a parked car; a middle aged man wearing his old letterman jacket stares off in far-away thought; another man sits at his desk dejectedly, illuminated only by a computer screen. Without elaborating a broader narrative, these paintings focus on private moments whose stillness reveals a profound emotional depth. The images are able to hint at these complexities through Bollinger’s sensitive handling of paint and composition. He often combines subtle tonal modulations with moments of high-key color. In O’Brien and Son—a portrait of a father and son in their auto repair shop—Bollinger applies streaks and patches of bright pink and red, pushing forms to abstraction, and generating a visual disruption from the everyday.


Matt Bollinger (b. 1980, Kansas City, MO) received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and his MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. His work has been exhibited in recent museum shows at South Bend Museum of Art (South Bend, IN); Phillips Museum (Lancaster, PA); Nerman Museum (Overland Park, KS); and Musée d’art moderne et contemporain (Saint-Étienne Métropole, France). His work has been reviewed in The New York TimesArt in AmericaHyperallergic and Art Critical, among others. Matt Bollinger lives and works in New York State. 


Exhibition PDF


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