Mathew Allen’s paintings form an ongoing inquiry into the materiality of paint upon canvas and the fundamentality of painting itself: colour, medium and process. Purity of medium and the experience of colour form the kernel of the artist’s abstract approach. The paintings are composed of a ground colour coated in transparent or translucent glazes, producing subtle, atmospheric gradients of tone. Devoid of any formal composition and physical traces of the artist’s hand, the works recall the aesthetic of abstract expressionism and the colour field painters of the Washington colour school (exemplified by artists such as Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis in the 1960s). Their purity of colour, form and expression is somewhat therapeutic, tapping into the viewer’s subjectivity by triggering unique sensory and emotional engagement.
Allen’s recent solo exhibitions include Spectral Variations, PS project space, Amsterdam (2016); and Continue/Repeat?, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney (2015). His work has been exhibited in Drifts, Witte Arena, Amsterdam (2014); Collection 4, Articulate Project Space, Sydney (2013); Painting as Presence, MOP Gallery, Sydney (2012); The Stone of Impermanence, Cite Des Arts Internationale, Paris (2012); and Ruminations on the End, SNO Contemporary Art Projects, Sydney (2012). In 2013 Allen was a finalist in 100 Painters of Tomorrow at Beers Lambert Gallery, London; the Kogarah Art Prize, Sydney; and in the Wilson Art Award, Trinity College in Lismore, NSW. In 2012 Allen was awarded a residency at The Moya Dyring Studio, Cite International des Arts, Paris, France. His work is included in a number of collections throughout Australia and Europe including Artbank, Sydney; Ipswich Art Gallery, Queensland; Mark Rothko Centre, Latvia; James Wallace Arts Trust, New Zealand; and the Steensen Varming Collection, Sydney.download pdf