C.J. Matherne: Stacked Against You

Filed in Exhibitions, Past Exhibitions by on December 1, 2019
November 13, 2020-February 1, 2021

Artist Q&A via Zoom: TBD

The Woodstock Artists Association & Museum will reopen on-site galleries this November with two solo exhibitions; one of them by C.J. Matherne titled Stacked Against You. The exhibition, presented in half of WAAM’s main gallery, opens Friday, November 13th and continues through February 1, 2021 with WAAM’s new limited hours of Friday through Sunday from 12-5 pm. C.J. Matherne was chosen for a solo exhibition by the juror Kristen Dodge, the owner and director of September Gallery in Hudson, NY.

Matherne’s body of work in Stacked Against You is informed by an experience the artist had a number of years ago teaching art in Miami with a population of chronically homeless adults. The vulnerability of their condition left an indelible mark on Matherne. Using both the human body and architectural forms, the paintings in Stacked Against You explore this vulnerability.

Matherne’s picture making process reflects on issues of helplessness and struggle for self-worth, both in form and content. Formally, this is seen in certain aspects of the paintings resolution, as the artist leaves parts of the paintings’ development exposed. The paintings’ ground, chalk lines, and underpainting all remain present — hovering between the supporting ground and the painted image — suspended in process. 

The exposure found within Matherne’s use of paint is then pitted against the illusion of wall facades. The viewer is left with an experience of the constraint found in the insurmountable blockades, and the picture plane itself. Something that we typically view to represent strength and stability is transformed into a type of false, yet realized, barrier. 

The images of figures and walls included in Stacked Against You confront the ambiguous intersection of societal and subjective issues through the practice of painting. Experiences such as the one Matherne had teaching in Miami helped to educate him on where an artworks’ concerns can/should locate themselves, even when a resolution is unclear. 


C.J. Matherne (born 1984, Houma, Louisiana) was raised in Miami, Florida. He earned a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2006) and MFA from Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard (2013). Outside of art, Matherne has worked as a teacher and a builder. His work has been shown widely, including at Roots and Culture in Chicago. He currently lives and works in Catskill, NY.

2020 Solo Shows were selected by juror Kristen Dodge, owner and director of September Gallery in Hudson, NY

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