VICTOR MATTHEWS

Victor Matthews. "Vortex OP II," 2011. Oil on canvas. 60" × 60", 152 cm x 152 cm. Photo courtesy of De Buck Gallery.

DE BUCK GALLERY | JANUARY 12 – FEBRUARY 23, 2012

New work from a painter who’s been showing since the ’80s but may not be on your radar. He should. “Vortex” is the title of every work here (seven oils on canvas, 11 pastels). Vortex as paint spiraling into a central point, physical, that center spot, but also ethereal, spreading. The gesture is commanding, yet human, and seems to come from far away. Swirls bring to mind Karin Davie, but Matthews uses shapes, colors, and an idea more like Masson or even Michaux; something European, but also equatorial, hovers. Matthews’s colors are hot, more in the paintings, where scarlets, ocean blues, purples, and yellows merge, than in the more delicate pastels (all works are 2010 – 11 ). It is in the fabric of the paint, the blending, that Matthews achieves a consummate magic. The most successful of all is “Vortex OP II,” 60 × 60 inches, whose small strips create many side displays at a distance from the central blast.

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