Matt Magee: How the West Was Won


How the West Was Won is an exhibition of work by artist Matt Magee. The show will be on view from March 31-May 30. 

First you start in Paris, then down to Tripoli, up to London, then over to America: Texas, New York and now Arizona. This is how you get to Matt Magee. Generations of pioneers and artists have migrated to the American Southwest in search of the space and peace afforded by a desert landscape. After thirty years in the northeast, Magee is yet another one of these transplants and many of the works in this show have evolved out of his first few years in this environment.

One of Magee’s great talents lies in the ability to translate the workaday world into distinctive singular objects. He sees possibilities in the simplest of things: an ordinary car gasket, painted in just the right shade of red, becomes suggestive of a primitive map; an airport floor plan is rendered in paint and transformed into a drone floating in space; repetition turns everyday language into hieroglyphs that appear both foreign and familiar. Whether working with found objects, painting or printmaking, his worldview is always present. Just as Lewis and Clark sent back their written impressions, Magee does the very same in his work.

His works are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the University of New Mexico Museum, the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and others. It has also been widely exhibited for more than thirty years with recent solo exhibitions at inde/jacobs in Marfa, Texas and at John Molloy Gallery in New York. He currently lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona.