The Weight of Light Press Release

'The Weight of Light' Press Release


A Solo Exhibition by Matt Bahen
Opening Reception: Wednesday September 5 from 7-9 pm
Exhibition runs September 5 - October 20, 2012


Contact: Lillan Munch, 212.228.1600,


Munch Gallery is pleased to present ‘The Weight of Light’, a solo exhibition by Canadian artist Matt Bahen. The exhibition includes all new oil paintings on canvas.

Bahen's new body of work, 'The Weight of Light', addresses themes he has been dealing with for sometime, the question of loss and how to carry on. The duality of mankind's nature is examined through thickly painted, intensely wrought images of ruined interiors and damaged landscapes. These images are activated through the presence of dogs in the paintings who themselves represent polarity, something to be feared and at the same time, a trusted companion. For Bahen, dogs bring the paintings out of the landscape genre or a voyeuristic experience of ruin and act as the "Virgil's" of the work. They are an untrustworthy guide making the paintings oscillate between comfort and disquiet. It is here, the in-between spaces, that meaning can be found.

The paintings are a study of light, its softness and subtly in the images of the interiors, applied with a large heavy hand. Further, the near absence of light and sky in the landscape based works can only be found in the reflective quality of water. Light being a metaphor for hope. The heaviness and thickness of the application of paint plus the often human scale reinforces the visceral quality of the delivery and subject.

Terrible things happen and buildings as well as the landscape wear its scars. Loss is not something one gets over or moves through rather it is something one has to carry as one moves through the world. Sometimes you can and sometimes the weight is too much.

Matt Bahen graduated the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2002, and has been exhibiting his work consistently in Canada and the USA. He lives and works in Toronto, Canada.