Matt Saunders

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Biography

Saunders’ practice connects painting, photography and printmaking to the moving image, heavily referencing film, the history of cinema and sometimes fiction.

Matt Saunders was born in 1975 in Tacoma, Washington. He lives between Berlin, Germany and Cambridge, Massachusetts where he currently teaches at Harvard University. Saunders’ work challenges the boundaries of artistic media. He enacts painting as a time-based and transitive medium through his camera-less photography, multi-screen animation and innovative painting and printmaking processes. Best known for his haunting portraits and landscapes (the imagery culled from a myriad of sources including avant-garde cinema and found photographs) and moving-image works, Saunders' practice uses analogue materials to explore the fleetingness, mobility and affective power of images. 

 In 1997, Saunders received a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard and completed his MFA in Painting and Printmaking in 2000 at the Yale University School of Art. In 2010 the Renaissance Society of Chicago organized his first solo institutional show. He has also exhibited at Tank Shanghai Project Space, China (2018); Qiao Space, Shanghai, China (2018); Tate Liverpool (2012): and the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Massachusetts (2012). 

Matt Saunders' work has been in numerous group exhibitions including at: Mass MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts (2017); The Photographer's Gallery, London (2016); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2016); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2013); de Cordova Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts (2012); the 2011 Sharjah Biennal; and the Apsen Art Museum, Colorado (2011). His work is in the collections of major institutions including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; the UCLA Hammer Museum, California; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 

Saunders was the 2015 recipient of the Rappaport Prize from the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, the 2013 Prix Jean-François Prat and the 2009 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation award. 

Saunders’ practice connects painting, photography and printmaking to the moving image, heavily referencing film, the history of cinema and sometimes fiction.

In Focus

In Focus

Marian Goodman Gallery’s latest newsletter delves deeply into one artist on the MGG roster at a time. Join us as we explore the multidimensionality of Matt Saunders’ photographic works and the processes behind them through interviews, writings, and a three-channel video combining some of his colorful animations.

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