Autoversion Ltd presents “Strawberry Mountain,” an exhibition of paintings and drawings from US-born Austrian artist, Stephen Mathewson. Mathewson’s episodic artworks unfold through a series of surreal and heartbreaking vignettes rendered on canvas and paper.
The artist’s narrative revolves around the story of a goose painting that has been handed down from cokehead businessman, Carl, to his 19 year old, hipster son, Charles. Transported in a black suitcase, the heirloom signifies the transfer of ownership to Charles of a refreshments company – and comes equip with instructions to take the goose painting to Strawberry Mountain in New Hampshire – where a bear will reveal to Charles economic wisdom and lifestyle tips. This exhibit captures Charles, his entourage, and the suitcase nightclubbing in Miami before they make their way to New Hampshire to fulfill the prophecy.
Outlandish plot line aside, the works render intimate moments and profound relationships – ultimately finding the characters coping with some heavy realizations on success and failure. Text of conversation and commentary are woven in, around, and through Mathewson’s subjects. “The actual production of the works allude to different possibilities in literature and painting,” states David Quigley in an essay taken from Mathewson’s recent catalogue “Episode 1.” The blurring of these genres provides the artist a perfect medium for his fantastic and tragic tales evoking triumphant gain and eloquent loss.
Stephen Mathewson’s “Strawberry Mountain” is on view through January 12th, 2008.
The artist lives and works in Vienna, Austria. Solo exhibitions include “Die Geschichte…,” Galerie im Traklhaus, Salzburg, Austria 2006); “Dream Vacation,” Galerie Herold, Bremen, Germany (2004); and “The Art of the Poser,” Projecktraum Viktor Bucher, Vienna, Austria (2000). Group exhibitions include “Volle Tube,” Galerie der Stadt, Wels, Austria (2006); “Group Exhibition,” Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Villa delle Rose, Bologna, Italy (2002); and “Transience and Sentimentality,” ICA Boston (1998).