Thoughts on Paper
"Making works on paper has captivated me since childhood- I have created thousands spanning my 35 years as a professional artist. I like the undaunted intimacy and nomadic portability of paper. The surface promotes both precise articulation and softer strokes plus experimentation with media, as conveyed by the diversity of the submitted artwork. Whether a grid painting using pigmented gypsum, a detailed graphite abstract, a magical ocean view with collage elements or combinations thereof, the foundation of each piece is an intuitive architecture with glyph drawings, many hidden beneath subsequent layers. As I construct the work, these marks dance between fanciful and simple, lofty and humble, sacred and profane, still and kinetic, like the fractal impressions streaming through my subconscious. Each artwork takes flight as a noumenon capturing something from another plane seeking expression, informed by motifs and materials from nature to provide a glimpse into that realm. Absorbing each of these works on paper fulfills a number of different unspoken needs in me, and my hope is that they speak to you as well." - Matt Baumgardner, 2016
During summer 2021, Callie Oliveira, Anne Heaton Sanders, Grayson Sloop, Madeleine Wiggs, and Laina Wilson researched the art and life of artist Matthew Baumgardner, working with art history professor Dr. Sarah Archino to curate an exhibition of his art for the European Cultural Centre’s 2022 exhibition and to create a digital tour of his Travelers Rest studio. In the process, these students spent hours among Baumgardner’s personal and business archives, learning about his process and the ways that art intersected with his everyday life. This selection of works on paper represents only a fraction of the drawings, sketches, notes, and experiments that they discovered in the course of their research – and which they share here to reveal some of the more private and playful ways that Baumgardner captured the world around him.