© Grace Mattingly

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Grace Mattingly


Artist Statement

Bold, vibrant, blocks of color with high value-contrast introduce airy, light-filled spaces, such as gardens, conservatories, bedrooms, and music halls. People of all gender identities, often monumentally scaled, use their perceptual senses to tenderly engage with and shape their surroundings. Inspired by my everyday life and relationships, my paintings depict scenes of sensory pleasure and healing, featuring empowered figures and prominent plant life—as my vision of the future I daily cultivate.

Visible under-drawing on clear-gessoed canvas and heavy, sometimes dripping marks formally reinforce these concepts by underscoring the physicality of the materials I use. Strong diagonals, repeating figures in the same frame, and vigorous marks—for example, the diagonal of the central figure in Molly in the Greenhouse and her repeated body throughout the painting—suggest movement in the bodies I showcase, underscoring their agency.

Alex Katz, with his large-scale figures and flat fields of slickly applied color, and Joan Mitchell, with her vigorous bursts of heavily marked pigment influence my use of figuration, color, and stroke, in varying moments. Scholar and activist adrienne maree brown, in her books, Emergent Strategy and Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good, informs my understanding of the relationship between pleasure, self-empowerment, and personal and political transformation. Imagining and cultivating the joy-filled future we wish to inhabit, in the midst of the chaos of our current world, become essential, empowering daily practices. Healthy relationships, with ourselves and each other, as well as the plant and animal life with whom we share our destiny, become paramount.

© Grace Mattingly

Grace Mattingly's Portfolio

Grace Mattingly, Angel in the Conservatory, Oil on canvas, 60
Grace Mattingly, Audrey in the Garden, Oil on canvas, 60
Grace Mattingly, Jasmine in the Conservatory, Oil on paper, 21
Grace Mattingly, Bedroom I, Oil on canvas, 36
Grace Mattingly, Emma in the Garden I, Oil on canvas, 36
Grace Mattingly, Emma in the Garden II, Oil on canvas, 36
Grace Mattingly, Molly in the Greenhouse, Oil on canvas, 60
Grace Mattingly, Maddy in the Park, Oil on canvas, 20
Grace Mattingly, Taylor Onstage, Oil on canvas, 60
Grace Mattingly, Kirby Dog-Walking on a Hot Day in June, Oil on canvas, 52

© Grace Mattingly

Artist Biography

Grace Mattingly is a Chicago-based artist whose light-filled figurative paintings explore the transformative potential of pleasure. She has shown at Big Pictures Los Angeles, the Highland Park Art Center, and more, and has been featured in artist publications such as Art Maze Mag and Field Projects. She received her BA from Columbia University and will be pursuing her MFA in 2019-2021 at The Slade School of Fine Art.



© Grace Mattingly

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