Throughout his early career, Franz has developed a captivating style of organic representation where viewpoints in his paintings are refracted, obscured, and through this brought closer to life. Directly confronting the complexity of contemporary existence, he approaches the medium of painting as a venture in witnessing and recording his time.
In his paintings, muted earth tones are contrasted with shadowy outlines and full primary hues that comprise invented architectural spaces or uncanny perspectives. The pulling and pushing tension within his brushstrokes captures the sensation of heavy, enlarged forms giving way to more delicate arrangements, infused with the imbalanced weight and proportions one would find in a dream.
Franz is careful to distance the viewer’s perspective from the interior of his paintings. He describes this process as “clinging to the inherent depth and secret of things.” Buried within his images the viewer searches for the face of a figure or the contours of the skyline. Amongst the seemingly unconnected locations pictured throughout his oeuvre he depicts the environment of the academy, onstage performances, and beds full of dreaming bodies. Throughout these scenes, the motif of collective longing is projected into a broader social context, as are suggestions of detachment, inaction, and rebelliousness.
The artist’s early influences include American painters such as Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden, while he embraces the expressive grandeur inherited from his continental European predecessors and contemporaries, German painters such as Martin Kippenberger, Albert Oehlen, and Daniel Richter.
Matthias Franz graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 2019, where he was a student of Daniel Richter. Franz participated in the group exhibition at GRIMM New York, Condition Humaine, in December 2021.
The artist’s first solo exhibition with GRIMM, Salon des Nutzlosen, took place at the gallery’s New York location in June of 2022, and his second solo exhibition with GRIMM, Birds Sing the Echoes of Fragmentation, opened in March 2023.
Franz's work can be found in the Rachofsky Collection, Dallas, TX (US); De Heus-Zomer Collection, Barneveld (NL); THE EKARD COLLECTION; Green Family Art Foundation, Dallas TX (US); Kunstmuseum, The Hague (NL); The He Art Museum, Foshan (CN); The Roberts Institute of Art (RIA), London (UK) and numerous private collections.
The Moon and IOrganized by Michael Plunkett 13 Jul - 11 Aug 2023 GRIMM 54 White St, New York, NY (US)
Matthias FranzBirds Sing the Echoes of Fragmentation 22 Mar - 15 Apr 2023 GRIMM Keizersgracht 241, Amsterdam (NL)
Matthias FranzSalon des Nutzlosen 17 Jun - 15 Jul 2022 GRIMM 54 White St, New York, NY (US)
Condition Humaine29 Oct - 4 Dec 2021 GRIMM 54 White St, New York, NY (US)
Birds Sing the Echoes of FragmentationMatthias Franz Published by GRIMM on the occasion of "Birds Sing the Echoes of Fragmentation", a solo exhibition with new works by Matthias Franz at GRIMM, Amsterdam (NL), 2023Hard cover with linen, 112 pagesRead more
Publisher: GRIMM Amsterdam (NL)
ISBN: ISBN 978-90-833287-0-6
Dimensions: 22 x 15 cm | 8 5/8 x 5 7/8 in