"Systems of Collecting" at the Kala Art Institute

Review by DeWitt Cheng in the East Bay Express 

Review by KQED Arts                                                                         

I will be showing a few paintings in Systems of Collecting, at the Kala Art Institute.  The other artists in the show are Mari Andrews, Binh Danh, Jeanne O'Connor, Ethan Turpin.  Systems of collecting was curated by Lauren Davies.  

"Kala Gallery presents Systems of Collecting, the second in our three-part 2011 series that explores various aspects of systems structures. This group exhibition visually explores organizational systems that are used in libraries, archives, private collections and natural history/anthropology museums. To seek, locate, acquire, organize, catalog, maintain and display - these actions comprise the very definition of collecting. Ranging from eccentric personal collections stored in labeled boxes in the basement to formally displayed natural history taxidermy collections, uniqueness and variation within a category appear as the predominant organizing principal of collecting. Yet beyond these activities, an essential aspect of collecting is about imposing order on the chaos of life. The ordering of the world around us seems to be guided by the need to simultaneously preserve and control. The work presented in Systems of Collecting examines both the light and dark sides of the collecting impulse....

.....Matthew Troy Mullins is a recent MFA graduate from University of California, Berkeley whose work meshes his impressive skills as a realist watercolor painter with his longstanding fascination with public and private collections, archives, and storage facilities. Matthew’s selection of subject matter pairs densely packed information laden situations with a watercolor painting process that by its very nature, is both loose and fluid. His large-scale paintings on paper depict collections of objects that are tangible representations of a collective story. Matthew was the recent recipient of the Visions from the New California award that provided a two-month residency at Kala’s studio."  (Full text here)