Matt Klos and Nora Sturges

Matt Klos, Sycamore Avenue, oil on panel, 8″ x 10″, 2023

Matt Klos and Nora Sturges are showing new work at Anne Arundel Community College in the The Cade Center for Fine Arts Gallery. Matt is from my hometown, and he showed his work for a number of years here at Oxford Gallery and now teaches at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland. Years ago, he was also a student of my friend Bill Stephens. It’s always a great pleasure to see his new work. He’s constantly finding pictorial opportunities usually in overlooked places most people would rarely pause to admire. Yet his achievement isn’t simply to show you what’s physically visible, but to convey a time of day, a quality of light and a season. You see what he saw in the short period of time it took to paint these small pieces, but his images root themselves in a stillness that reaches out far beyond a particular moment. His statement, below, on the new work is eloquent. What follows is from his email invitation to the show.

Street View: Paintings by Matt Klos & Nora Sturges

The exhibit is open February 2 – March 1
RECEPTION: Feb. 8.  5-7pm

In “Street View,” painters Matt Klos and Nora Sturges investigate the visual contours and terrain of cityscapes both near and far from home.  Klos’ series A Community Portrait investigates his historically working-class community of Sparrows Point by tracing the alleyways and painting on site. Generally, each painting spans a few hours of working time to capture a particular light, time of day, and season. In the series The View from the Road, Sturges paints from screenshots she takes in Google Street View following the route Charles Darwin took on his voyage with the Beagle (1832-36). These meticulously crafted paintings reveal idiosyncratic contemporary moments. Both artists value discovery by looking closely. Their ideas are couched in the time required to paint in an empirical and investigative manner.

MATT KLOS: “This project is a series of small format paintings of my community made during my sabbatical in spring 2023. Subjects include the outbuildings as seen from the back alleys near my home and front views of houses along a historically black and landlocked street in Sparrows Point, MD. Over the last twenty years I’ve spent time observing these often-overlooked areas, which I have seen on walks at various times of day. I’m often surprised by the endless variations and beauty found here. As we increasingly choreograph our identities via social media, slavishly attending to every detail of how we may be perceived, it’s refreshing to see a dimension of our public facing selves that is not as self-conscious and as premeditated. Our homes reveal volumes. I see each painting in this project as a type of portrait and, as such, communicates both specific and general truths about our communities and ourselves.”

NORA STURGES: “Since 2008, I have worked intermittently on a series of tiny paintings collectively called The View from the Road. My original inspiration was the early color photographs of Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii, who set out in 1905 to document the Russian empire, and my paintings offered me an opportunity to document the interesting things I saw on my own travels, out in the world near home and farther afield. During the pandemic, deprived of actual travel, I found myself devoting considerable time to exploring foreign places in Google Street View, and wanting to paint the wonderful things I was discovering. Instead of using chance or previous knowledge to choose places to explore, I decided to follow the route Charles Darwin took on his voyage with the Beagle (1832-36). Like Darwin, I am convinced of the value of observation, especially the intense observation painting entails, even when the subject is, on the surface, boring. Darwin’s observations led, years later, to the theories of natural selection and evolution he set forth in On the Origin of Species; already my voyage and observations are leading me to ideas about the human species.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Chris Mona, Interim Director, Cade Art Gallery, at [email protected]

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