Tisch M. Lewis
Hideki Kihata, Chair
University Art Gallery
Arbury Fine Arts Center
This exhibit features new works by Saginaw Valley State University Art Professor Matthew Zivich.
Artist statement: The "Americana" series that I have been working on for the past several years has evolved slightly, because many of the subjects are no longer identified exclusively with America. The drawings and paintings still lean heavily in favor of "America", but the inclusion of other images perhaps makes the theme more involved with the violent upheaval of war. Here as well, the direction has started to lean toward not just war, but war and peace. Thus the new title: "War and Peace".
I've accepted the statement that there is really no "anti-war" visual statement in art or cinema, and that despite the horrific visual depictions presented in the history of those art forms, some sub rosa, counter-phenomena that elicits an adventurous excitement is equally present. Besides, death is the opposite of life and equal to it, and should therefore be equally represented. Whereas traditionally, the positive aspects of propagation have dominated the visual arts for centuries.
As a representational artist such themes seem inevitable and merely act as a motivator, though ultimately, such story-telling is an excuse to make an art work. The reality of it all is the obsession with the aesthetic fundamentals of Modernism and the challenges of using representational imagery that jives with a contemporary awareness of visual statement with the baggage of pre-abstract figurative art. It's been done a lot and by Masters that make comparison a futility enough to make one wonder why bother? And that is the reason my imagery is not hand-drawn: to escape any naivete' that my images could be compared to the old Masters. My attempts are to make the imagery have a new life in a different and more complex setting.