Born in 1975 in Tacoma, USA
Lives and works between Berlin, Germany, and Cambridge, UK
Matt Saunders’ practice combines painting, photography and print- making with the moving image, making extensive reference to film, film history and sometimes fiction. Photography has played a key role in Matt Saunders practice, a practice that is also painterly and multimedia. Saunders has long explored the power and delicate affect of images, especially as they settle into material form. His portraits are emotionally charged and materially specific. Saunders’ practice is an ongoing experiment and a prolonged contemplation of the photograph itself. For a ppr oc he the artist proposes an intense dialogue between bodies and faces, chemistry and painting, highly-mastered techniques and serendipity. Some Closeness brings together two recent bodies of photographic work by artist Matt Saunders. In the past few years, Saunders has centered on intimate and drawing-based practices, which hold painting and photography in evocative suspension. Begin- ning with photographs–or the memory of photographs–Saunders’ Resist Drawings on silver gelatin paper use the antipathy of oil-based paints and water-based developers to raise bodies in classical and intimate reveries.
For the ongoing series The Distances, Saunders partially over-paints C-prints that in turn were made with hand-painting in the darkroom. The subjects–a return to icons and idols from Saunders’ past–are both created and obscured by this painterly approach and exist in a very personal space, vibrating between depth and surface.
Matt Saunders graduated from the Harvard and Yale schools of art in the United States. International institutions such as Tate Liverpool (2012) or the Renaissance Society, Chicago (2010) have shown his work in solo exhibitions. His work is regularly shown in group exhibitions such as the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2008), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2008), MoMA (2014), Whitney Museum (2015 and 2013), Metropolitan Museum of Art (2020), MassMOCA (2017‒18), and the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2022). He is the laureate of the second edition of the Prix Jean-François Prat (2013) and the Rappaport Prize (2015).