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Matthew Day Jackson’s diverse practice encompasses sculpture, painting, collage, photography, drawing, video, performance, furniture design, and installation art. The concept of connectivity is at the core of Jackson’s work. He investigates a wide range of philosophical, scientific, and historical themes that he interweaves with his personal narrative.

The artist employs intensive research and production processes to create objects that coincide with a reassembling of history. He views the combination of materials and references to disparate time periods as a metaphor for interconnectivity. His use of materials reflects the idea that our evolution is not only found within the slow adaptation of our bodies, but it is, “also present in the materials we use to express our humanity over time, the evolving process of the creation of society, and the performance of culture.” 

Those who have shaped the cultural, social and political landscape in the United States, such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Buckminster Fuller, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and others, have been influential in the iconogaphic and conceptual basis for Jackson’s work. Accordingly, events that influenced the mythology of American exceptionalism—the Apollo 11 moon landing, development of the American West, and the dropping of the atomic bomb—are rendered to imagine alternate outcomes and suggest the inherent falsehoods contained within such a mythology. 

Through referencing the cannon of art history, many of Jackson's works also examine the projection of human desires onto nature. For example in Archimboldo, Still Life with Flowers and Reclining Nude series Jackson investigates how artists have propagated mythologies of beauty throughout history. The still lifes — drawn from paintings made in the 17th century by Jan Brueghel the Elder and Younger, or the portraits inspired by Joos de Momper, are remade almost entirely from artificial materials. Central to Jackson’s practice is mythos of the artist’s hand as well as the temporality of the artworks themselves. The works are composites, incorporate images sourced from landscape photography and painting as well as his own photography, adapted using Photoshop and AI, and allowing for experimentation with artifice and reality. 

For Jackson, the measurable and the inexplicable, power and sacrifice, mortality and the infinite are all part of a realm he has dubbed ‘the Horriful’, where everything we do has the potential to create both horror and beauty.

Matthew Day Jackson (b. 1974 in Panorama City, CA, US) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY (US). He received his BFA at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA (US) and his MFA at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (US). He has also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME (US) and obtained the NHRA Supercomp Dragster License at Frank Hawleys Racing School in Gainesville, FL (US). 

Recent solo exhibitions include Counter-Earth, PACE, Seoul (KR); Against Nature, PACE, New York, NY (US); Waterfalls and Birds, Guesthouse, Wilson, WY (US) in 2021; Flowers, Windows and Thistles, Hauser & Wirth, Zurich (CH), Audubon in the Anthropocene: Works by Matthew Day Jackson, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (US) in 2020 and Pareidolia, GRIMM, Amsterdam (NL) in 2019. 

His work can be found in the collections of international institutions such as Astrup-Fearnley Museum, Oslo (NO); Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia (IT); Domus Collection, New York & Beijing (US, CN); High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA (US); Kunstmuseum, The Hague (NL); Museo d’Arte Moderna, Bologna (IT); Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA (US); Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (NL); Pinault Collection, Paris (FR); Rosenblum Collection, Paris (FR); Rubell Museum, Miami, FL and Washington, DC (US); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (NL); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (NL); Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels (BE); Whitney Museum for American Art, New York, NY (US) and Zabludowicz Collection, London (UK).