Wayne Matthews

Wayne Matthews

(2nd floor / Ellis House / Johannesburg)

(2nd floor / Ellis House / Johannesburg)

Born 1982, Wayne Matthews currently lives and works in Johannesburg

He completed his studies at the Nelson Mandela University in 2006. Despite majoring in Painting, he produced mainly sculptural work that falls within the assemblage and installation idioms.

Wayne Matthews exhibits as a multidisciplinary artist currently working in collage, drawing and assemblage. His recent works attempt to image the half-formed, partial and fragmentary nature of a ’life in the flicker’, of life amidst the ‘floating signifier’; here nothing clearly follows on from anything else and the previous ‘page’ is never erased by the next.

The works of the past three years have featured sedimentary deposits of graphite, dust, foodstuffs, torn and pitted paper, palindromes and phonemes, fragments of word, object and image. They freely incorporate abstract, semi-figurative and figurative registers, metaphoric and symbolic language.  His work draws as readily from contemporary visual culture as it does from classic literature and cosmogonic myth. Opting to insinuate meaning and implicate content, which is often found, often unintended, but accepted as part of the work none the less. Behind the divergences of style, register and technical approach, however, there is an emergent iconography, one that implicitly involves these shifting approaches and materials as constituents of the subject matter itself. They speak of the intimate and generative interplay of significance in a context devoid of fixity.

In 2019 Wayne was awarded a fellowship from the Ampersand Foundation (New York 2019) and was an ABSA L’Atelier Merit Award Winner in 2007. Wayne has lectured in Drawing, Art Theory and Painting and has worked as a curator and gallery director. More recently, as one of four founding members, he launched the Labyrinth Project, exploring alternatives to curatorial praxis through interdisciplinary collaboration and experimentation. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions both locally and internationally and his work is featured in both private and public collections.

Website: Wayne Matthews

Ashraf Jamal's review of 'a land I name yesterday'; a recent collaborative exhibition by Jenna Burchell, Jaco van Schalkwyk and Wayne Matthews.

recent work