Bob Matheny art exhibit at the San Diego History Center
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The first major museum survey of the work of San Diego artist Bob Matheny will be on view at the San Diego History Center December 15, 2018 – March 24, 2019.
Since the late 1950s Bob Matheny has developed his expansive practice through the lens of many different disciplines and mediums, including graphic design, sculpture, small press printing, painting, writing, photography, curating, and performance. Grounded in the formal tenets of modernist design, and with a healthy dose of Dada irreverence and Duchampian hijinks, Matheny’s diverse body of work is a singular blend of craftsmanship and concept, idea and object, wit and intelligence.
Matheny’s legacy in San Diego’s art community also extends to his role as a committed and progressive educator. In the early 1960s he was the first full-time art instructor at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, a position he held for three decades. During his tenure at Southwestern Matheny founded and programmed the college’s art gallery, established its permanent collection of contemporary art, and organized a series of public programs and events – including film screenings, performances, and happenings – that were forward-thinking and often controversial.
Presenting key works and moments in his remarkable six-decade career, Bob Matheny: Almost Anonymous showcases the artist’s prolific output and honors his pioneering contributions to, and continued impact on, San Diego’s art community.
Covering the full breadth of his career, the exhibition is composed of over 70 multidisciplinary works, including Matheny’s early experiments with typography and small press printing from the late 1950s; his signature series of Letter Form paintings and sculptures from the 1960s; documentation of intermedia performances and happenings from the 1970s to the present day; a selection of “assisted readymade” sculptures and collaborative works; and recent hard-edge paintings. Many of the works in the exhibition have never been on public view.
“Matheny’s diverse, often idiosyncratic body of work resists categorization and defies expectations, and distinguishes him as a truly unique and significant artistic voice in San Diego and beyond,” said Kaytie Johnson, Bruce Kamerling Curator at the San Diego History Center, and curator of the exhibition. “The History Center is thrilled to present this long overdue survey of Bob’s life and career, which recognizes his broad influence as both an artist and teacher, and celebrates his significant – yet under-recognized – contributions to San Diego’s art community.”
KUSI’s Allie Wagner checked out the exhibit live on Good Morning San Diego.