Matt Dunn

For years now much of my work has involved text. People come into my studio, often people who think they don’t know how to look at art, and they read my work closely in spite of themselves. I make visual work people want to pronounce. I try to keep it in the middle area between propaganda or design and total abstraction. This show is titled “Anti-Analogy” because these works, all these words, are clearly talking about somethings but I want those things to exist in your brain alone, as insistent but distant ideas, not in a comparison or simile or allegory. A patient viewer who untangled a map of anagrams or a six-layer repetition would still find something oblique.

Using text in my pieces keeps me working. I can make something bold or clear on a painting, then back away from it, complicate it, complement it, or underline it. The cleaner, more legible texts in this show are still results of that back-and-forth process. The Quaker Game is a kinetic sculpture of ten words I wrote to someone once. I sat back and looked at the email and the pattern and various relationships between the words made sense to me in numerous ways. The sculpture presents those relationships individually. The words on the rapidly-spinning shaft have an urgency to them; the ones that stop and start are more stately. The strobe is there to animate the rapid one backwards; all the energy there is half-hidden and confusing. It’s a piece about silence and energy and lust.