Matthew Dettmer

7 – 29 February 2020

Matthew Dettmer, Bench, 2019, Oil on canvas. 76 x 109cm. Image courtesy of the artist and MARS Gallery. Canson Photographique




Matthew Dettmer is painting portraits and still lives which is a turn from the cool close crop paintings of clothing he has been making previously. Friends, animals, and late night scenes now emerge from Dettmer’s palette, with an intimacy that is at once candid as it is composed and as formal as it is voyeuristic. The personal becomes documented as something more than itself, an objective workspace of bodies and moments that are made to matter on the canvas as much as beyond it.


These paintings of people are intersected with works created from objects or scenes of interest. The interplay of these two motifs creates a dialogue between the personal and the objective leading us to feel with certain works and conceptualise with others. Dettmer declares that he wants to make paintings that are “honest, playful and beautiful.” there is a sincerity and simplicity to these paintings which allows for a focus on the gesture of the work itself.

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