Matthew Kirk “The Worrier Spirit”


poster for Matthew Kirk “The Worrier Spirit”
[Image: Matthew Kirk "The Dark Blanket Party" (2021) hand cut tar paper, wire mesh, acrylic, oil, cotton, brass grommets, blue tacks, staples, wire / 64 x 48 in.]
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Ends in 15 days

FIERMAN presents The Worrier Spirit, a solo exhibition by New York-based artist Matthew Kirk, his second solo show with the gallery. Kirk will be showing new painting and sculpture primarily made since the summer of 2020 in his studio upstate. The new works expand upon his well-established visual language fusing rhythmic abstraction with elements of his Navajo heritage. In the two largest works on view, Kirk is expanding the boundaries of his material exploration beyond the sheetrock panel paintings for which he is known, moving further into hybrid painting-sculptures comprised of non-traditional art materials from the construction industry.

In One More Time Around, he has created a painterly composition on cut and carved rigid industrial foam. The imagery remains characteristically his own, while the material play yields textural surprises: spray paint creates indentation upon the surface, and cuts into the foam create a dimensional geometric underpinning. For The Dark Blanket Party, he has intricately woven tar roofing paper through industrial metal fencing, a practice he is revisiting after creating several works in this vein over a decade ago with the accidental discovery of a surfeit of fencing wire in his Queens garage. The work recalls in both composition and color traditional Navajo textiles, while the ad hoc approach to material is entirely Kirk’s own. Kirk has throughout his career extrapolated the phrase “use every part of the animal” in his use of the detritus of the construction and art handling industries. His thinking has expanded recently to cannibalizing his own past work to create new configurations and reevaluate the idea of material permanence in his practice.

Finally, Kirk will be showing a selection of free-standing assemblage sculptures. This type of work has long figured in his oeuvre, though in this installation they serve as a humorous and warm nod to the lack of social proximity in the gallery viewing experience. A stack of bricks and wood become a figure. A lone eroded log stands erect, eyes askew, smoking an American Spirit cigarette with its appropriative fantasy eagle logo, a further play on the use of culturally exploitative Native American imagery in the American visual lexicon.

Matthew Kirk (b. 1978, Ganado, AZ) lives and works in Queens, New York. He has had solo and group exhibitions at FIERMAN, NY (2018); Halsey McKay Gallery, East Hampton (2019); Adams and Ollman, Portland, OR (2016); and Louis B. James, NY (2012, 2015). He was a 2019 recipient of the Eiteljorg Museum Fellowship for Contemporary Native American Art. His work is in the collection of the Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis, IN, and the Bank of America Collection.



from March 18, 2021 to April 25, 2021

Opening Reception on 2021-03-18 from 18:00 to 20:00


Matthew Kirk

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Venue Hours

From 12:00 To 18:00
Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays


Address: 127 Henry St., New York, NY 10002
Phone: 917-593-4086

Between Rutgers and Pike Sts. Subway: F to East Broadway.

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