Elizabeth Houston Gallery, New York
In the series Standard Size, Andy Mattern portrays packages of photo paper wherein he has physically obscured corporate logos, stock photos, and descriptive text for the purpose of redirecting compositional expectations and aesthetic considerations of subject-based photography.
Distracted by the stock photos and hyper-branding design that appear on packages of photographic paper in his studio, Mattern was moved to purge this extraneous information by cutting, sanding and using colored masking tape to cover up logos and expository text. What began as an effort to obscure or remove things from view resulted in new subjects to photograph — surfaces that seem both familiar and inexplicable. Shot straight-on and printed at life-size scale, the images relate to the worlds of aerial landscape photography and color field painting.
Standard Size is photographic in both its subject matter and technique. With this series he is able to engage formal issues of image-making as well as the relationship of photography to a range of genres: painting, collage, and the ideology of conceptual art. Inspired by hard-edge abstraction and rule-based aesthetics, this work engages both the subtle complexities of representation in general while specifically questioning traditional photographic subjects and methodologies.
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1979, Andy Mattern is a contemporary photographer who uses everyday objects as sources of inspiration for his work. Mattern attended the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art in 2002 and later went on to continue his education at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis where he received a Masters in Fine Arts in Photography in 2012. Andy’s work has been showcased nationally in several exhibitions and most recently has been featured at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul, MN, Masur Museum of Art, Monroe, LA, Texas Women’s University, Denton, TX, the Art Institutes International Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, the DeVos Art Museum, Marquette, MI, and the Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM. In 2015 he was awarded Juror’s Pick in the Daylight Photo Awards and more recently was honored with both an Art365 Grant and Concept/Focus Grant by the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition. He is represented in the permanent collections of the BMO Harris Bank, Minneapolis, MN, Center North West, Seattle, WA, and Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, MN. Currently based in Stillwater, OK, Andy continues his career teaching as an Assistant Professor of Photography and Digital Media at Oklahoma State University, where he has most recently instituted the first and only photography program ever to exist at OSU. In 2016, Mattern exhibited Standard Size at the Elizabeth Houston Gallery, where he received a positive review in The New Yorker from Vince Aletti.