The Helen E. Copeland Gallery and the School of Art at Montana State University are pleased to announce the opening of The Material Verse, the Master of Fine Arts thesis exhibition of Matthew Levy. The exhibition will take place at the Helen E. Copeland Gallery in Haynes Hall on the Montana State University campus in Bozeman, Montana, March 4th– March 8th, 2019.
Levy’s thesis defense will take place March 5th at 11 am in the gallery. There will be a public reception for The Material Verse on Thursday, March 7th 2019, from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. All events are open to the public.
The Material Verse explores the role of materiality through the use of indigenous Montana clays and rocks. The culmination of Levy’s research into sourcing local materials, his sculptural works, and his clay panels seek to invoke the essence of the Montana landscapes and bring agency to these natural resources. The areas surrounding Western Montana are filled with a deep and rich history of mining and stewardship, where the resources of the earth were harnessed under the promise of progress and advancement. Butte is no stranger to the needs of industry, and through sourcing viable ceramic materials in the remains of the town’s once booming mining industry like the Slag walls of Silver Bow Creek, Levy seeks to give these spaces a voice.
Levy’s work is driven by three questions: how can he do the elemental compositions of his materials inform his aesthetic choices? Secondly, can materiality be expressed within the confines of the gallery space? If so, can the raw materials act as a vehicle for connecting sculptures to the land from which they originate? According to Levy, “These questions are paramount to my obsession with indigenous materials and their impact on my practice as an artist. I am determined to find a way in which I can tie the land and the materials I find to the art objects of my making.”
Matthew Levy received his BFA from University of Wisconsin, River Falls. He has been focused on woodfired ceramics for over 20 years and has exhibited nationally and throughout the Midwest region. A grant recipient of the DSEL Interdisciplinary Education Program, Levy’s research on sourcing indigenous materials has been recently cited in the book, Undergraduate Research in Art (Routledge Publishing, 2019). This has given his career a boost as Levy has been awarded a a residency in Tasmania, Australia for April/May 2019 where he will be participating in the 2019 Australian Woodfire Triennale. Levy will also be presenting at NCECA 2019 Minneapolis: Claytopia in March, bringing MSU’s International Wild Clay Research Project to a broader audience.
More information about Matthew Levy’s practices and ceramic works can be found on his personal website: www.woodfirelust.com