Sunday, January 12, 2014

New website!

My new website has been completed and updated!  Please visit matthewlitteken.com for all new work, exhibit updates, and resume.


Accordingly, I will discontinue to use this blog as a means to display work and post exhibit updates; it will remain online, however, due to fact that many other websites and exhibit venues still link this URL as my first point of contact. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Solo Exhibit @ Portland Community College

Postcard from my exhibit, "One Must Learn to Seduce", at the Cascade Gallery @ Portland Community College.
Click here to redirect to the article on the college's website. 


Monday, October 14, 2013

Solo Exhibit @ Moraine Valley Community College

Piece and Postcard from my exhibit, "Ten (and More) Objects of Veneration", at the Robert F. DeCaprio Gallery @ Moraine Valley Community College in the Chicago area.  Click here to redirect to the invite on FaceBook.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Solo Exhibit @ Coker College

Poster from my exhibit, "Under Color of...", at the Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery in Hartsville, SC.  Click here to redirect to the full announcement on the Coker College website.  Includes an abbreviated artist statement and bio.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Solo Exhibit @ LeMoyne College (Syracuse)

Poster from my exhibit, "Render Unto Caesar: A Discourse in Value Conquest for the 21st Century", in the Wilson Art Gallery in Syracuse, NY.  Click here to redirect to the full announcement on the LeMoyne College website.  Includes an abbreviated artist statement.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In-process work

I am currently working on a series of new work that is in an extremely raw...and uncomfortable...state.  New directions encompassing familiar themes/content.  As of late, I have been speaking frequently with my students about a self-imposed obstacle.  These visual or conceptual obstacles achieve the same possibilities as a swift punch in the gut on a gait-ed walk...as if you have been walking in a straight path and someone (presumably the self) causes an undesired (and much-desired) shift in the direction of the goal.  This is not unlike several quotes I use in my pedagogical arsenal:


“The problem about art is not finding more freedom, it’s about finding obstacles.”
--Richard Rogers

“I have said for many years that problem solving is greatly overvalued in our society.  Problem creation is much more interesting. The questions you ask yourself are the most interesting ones, because they put you in a jam. Then your solutions are going to be more personal solutions, not art world solutions.  If you can ...ask yourself the right kind of questions the solutions will become self-generating.”
            --Chuck Close

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Solo Exhibit @ Illinois Central College

Postcard from my exhibit "Tender Oddities" at the Performing Arts Center gallery, August 24 - September 16, 2011.  Click here to redirect to the ICC art listings and announcements for the exhibit.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Solo Exhibit @ Seminole State College

A few select images from my recent solo exhibit, "Watch the Left Hand Closely", @ Seminole State College in Sanford, Florida. The first image is a wall installation that I proposed and completed specifically for this exhibit.

Click on any image to enlarge.







A few in-process and detailed pictures of the installation for this exhibit. The installation piece is entitled "Watch the Left Hand Closely". Dimensions are variable, but the entire piece spans approximately 8 feet x 20 feet.










Monday, February 01, 2010

USA - Helsinki, Finland Traveling Print Exhibition


Eva G. Farris Art Gallery
Thomas More College

January: Friday 15th- Feb. 6th
Opening Reception: Friday, January 15, 2010 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Thomas More College’s Eva G. Farris Art Gallery and Helsinki Galleries in cooperation with the upcoming film, 'And White Was The Night'

Click on the title of this post to visit the Eva G. Farris Art Gallery blog.


About the film:

The theme in the film “And White Was The Night” is the evil created by social systems (in this case various crime organizations) and their power over individuals. The film touches a number of important topics, including drug and human trafficking and child soldiers. The story is set in the forests and suburbs of Helsinki (Finland), but it periodically takes you back to the jungles and towns of Colombia. This I think creates an interesting contrast. Even more of a contrast is the white night of Finland and the pitch black darkness of the jungle.

An important aspect of this film was to break the traditional genre boundaries. So the film has many elements that could be identified either as drama, action or even horror. To some it might even be experimental at times. I hope this shows in the art as well.”

-Mika Rantonen / Director

For more information on the film, please visit:

http://www.andwhitewasthenight.com/

http://www.andwhitewasthenight.com/trailers.html


"Pomp and Circumstance"
9 inches x 12 inches
Collage, graphite, and mixed media on paper



"Over and Into, Inside"
12 inches x 9 inches
Collage, cut paper, wood block, and graphite on paper

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Letters" Exhibit @ The LoDi Project


The "Letters" show is a juried, themed exhibit in Raleigh, NC that investigates the role of typography as addressed in a multiplicity of approaches, from video to photography to digital design to graffiti to traditional painting. The exhibit seeks to simultaneously recognize and explore the important relationship of the signal to the signified.

Click on any image to enlarge.



"Face Value # 1"
48 inches x 42 inches
Oil on canvas


Friday, October 16, 2009

"Variety Show" @ Space 237

"Variety Show" is a juried show showcased at Space 237 Galleries and Clayspace in Toledo, Ohio. The exhibit included 14 artists displayed on the sprawling 4th floor of the building, but each artist had multiple pieces juried into the show.

Click on the title of this post to visit the Exhibit archives for Space 237.
Click on any image to enlarge the image.





Friday, December 26, 2008

Invitational Show in Manhattan


I was privileged to be invited to participate in a themed exhibit dealing with the notion of currency in art at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City (December 3 - January 22, 2008). During the run of the exhibit, the gallery director had indicated that my work was the impetus for the thematic content of the show.

Click on the title of this post to visit the website for the Hewitt Gallery at Marymount Manhattan College .





Thursday, September 27, 2007

"Trappings" at the Parkland Art Gallery

"Trappings" is a three-person show at the Parkland Art Gallery at Parkland College in Champaign, Illinois.

Click on the images to view larger versions.





Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Artist Statement


Matthew W. Littekenmwlitteken@nni.com











As a tangible item, currency is one of the most ephemeral things in the external, practical world, constantly redefined in relationship to its fluctuating value.  Regardless of its fickle nature, money is an essential constant in society.  As consumers, we use money as the mediator for such things as physical sustenance, pleasure, and status, all of which may be described according to shifting individual or societal value.  Money has become such an integral part of our consumer-based existence that the motif of currency is commonly used as a symbol of value or purchasing power.  We are bombarded with its imagery, especially within televised advertising, printed coupons, and journalistic illustrations.  Even with technological substitutes for money, paper currency —actual, physical money—is still plainly capable of evoking delight and mystification.

My work investigates the notion of consumerism through the exploitation of money and value in multifaceted projects that incorporate the iconography and motifs from U.S. currency, generating a dialogue about the interplay of both spending practices and value assignments that penetrate our daily experiences.  I examine the role of these assessments through both color theory and subject matter, challenging viewers to reconsider the value systems so deeply embedded in the American psyche in the consumption of goods and services, but is directly tied to the human desires, fancies, and whims in our post-industrial consumer society.  The decorative elements speak to a number of issues surrounding societal assessments, particularly in relation to home improvement, public art, and art as commodity.

The thrust of my work is to provide viewers with the ironic sense of the sublime as related to the dry motif of money, while raising issues of artistry, value, and pictorial worth. What do we value (monetarily, conceptually, or aesthetically)?  For what reason, and to what end?  By what standards are these judgments made?  In context of the critical assessment and consequent taste of the viewer, I regard my work, not as the answers to these questions, but rather, as the inquisitors.