Innovative Artist Matt Straub
Canada- Toronto | Oct 21 2011 | (12:00:45 - EDT)
Matt Straub is one of the leadings artists to have his works displayed at the Toronto International Art Fair 2011. Straub's graphic and illustrative narratives combine characters and caricatures inspired by Western pulp writers and illustrators such as Zane Grey and Raymond Kinstler and film directors John Ford and Sergio Leone. The paintings' varied surfaces resonate with affinities to artists such as Willem De Kooning, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Sigmar Polke and Brice Marden.
Born in Cheyenne Wyoming, Matt Straub spent his early years hitchhiking and hopping freight trains across the Western states. Straub reveals his deep nostalgia for the harsh landscapes of the American West & Canada by conveying the shared history of action, adventure, and violence in the Northern Plains of the West. The Mounties, ranchers, cowboys and Native Americans, heroes and outlaws are part of Straub's ambiguous Pulp vision of the West.
With a bold comic visual vocabulary and sensibility, Straub's paintings echo the period of transition between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. Featuring classic Western iconographic images of cowboys, cowgirls, guns and horses, Straub's paintings and collages depict the humorous and violent narratives and sentimental mythologies of the American West - a landscape defined by melancholy sunsets, badlands, gunfights, outlaws and red-blooded heroes. His references include Hollywood Westerns and the Comics and Pulps of the '40s and '50s.
Straub's work also looks under the hood of the present day reality of the American West, with its concrete plains and Mini-Mart cowboys-places where the buffalo used to roam. Straub tackles the highs and lows of society with a comic visual vocabulary and a bold, fresh Pop Art sensibility. His Pop-Westerns are like graffiti splattered box cars rolling across the plains, their nostalgia a metaphor for a vanishing West.
Matt Straub has lived in Chicago, London, and Berlin. He graduated with a BFA from the University of Illinois in 1979. This is his third solo exhibition with Lyons Wier Gallery. You may see his work at TIAF, in booth 1032, from October 28-31, 2011.
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