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Matthew Quick: New Works - Introduced Species 2011

Opening: Thursday July 7, 2011 6-8pm

Art Index Gallery

Level 1 The Courtyard

348 Kent Street Sydney

You Are Either With Us or Against Us 100x200cm Oil on Italian Linen 2011

The Plague 100x200cm Oil on Linen 2011

Catch 22 90x168cm Oil on Linen 2011

Safety in Numbers 90x168cm Oil on Linen 2011

The Tangled Web 90x168cm Oil on Linen 2011

Brave Pioneers 90 x 168 cm Oil on Linen 2011

Conspiracy Theories 100x200cm Oil on Linen 2011

The Fugitives 90 x 168cm Oil on Linen 2011

The Lost Tribe 90x168cm Oil on Linen 2010

The Night Watch (Border Insecurity) 90x168cm Oil on Linen 2011

The Road Less Travelled
90 x 168cm Oil on Linen 2011

Previously Available works

Matthew Quick: The PURE Series 2010


                PURE Aspiration 152cm x 152cm, Oil on Italian Linen SOLD

All life on earth is dependent upon rain.

Appearing as they do after the deluge, the rainbow is symbolic of regrowth
and replenishment. This idea has been evolved in popular mythology
and fable to represent an elusive bridge to another, better place - as
encapsulated by Arlen & Harburg in the Wizard of Oz classic “Somewhere
over the Rainbow,” which gave hope to a world still reeling from the Great
Depression and embroiled in early stages of the Second World War.

It is the nature of the human condition to aspire for a better life, either for
one’s self or for one’s family. Such aspiration drove the great migrations
of the 19th Century, where people left homeland, family and all familiar
surroundings for the prospect of a better life in some distant land.

The fulfilment of these aspirations require travellers to take with them
relics of their past lives. And while their belongings are transported
in a variety of vessels, unknowingly, their most valuable possessions
are their memories, skills, cultures and above all, aspirations.


             PURE Co-operation 152cm x 152cm, Oil on Italian Linen SOLD

Life is a puzzle.

In many respects it resembles the jigsaw puzzles that families, during a more simple time, worked together to complete. Finding that elusive last piece demonstrates that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts and that the most difficult problems can be solved through co-operation. 


                 PURE Loneliness 152cm x 152cm, Oil on Italian Linen SOLD

We are all of us alone from the moment we are born.

For the rest of our lives we are trying to communicate with each other. From time to time we succeed. It can be through love, companionship and friendship. Or it can happen at an intellectual level when we listen to great music, read great literature or witness a great performance. At these times, we feel a one-ness with humanity. For those fortunate enough to have found this state, it is a connection they strive to repeat their entire lives.

Sadly, there are periods when we all fail to achieve this state - and for some,
it remains elusive. They can be surrounded by others and feel entirely alone.

                  PURE Obsession 112cm x 112cm, Oil on Italian Linen SOLD

A consequence of obsession is the disintegration of the necessary barriers that define reality and fantasy. And to varying degrees we all suffer from this
affliction. For some it can be relatively benign, such as an infatuation with work or sport. For others it is more complicated, with lives dedicated to the fanatical pursuit of religion, politics, alcohol and drugs etc.

It is also a commodity capable of commercialisation. Some demagogues,
spiritual claimants and manufacturers have recognised that obsessive behaviour is inextricably linked with addiction and as such, can be exploited for profit. The result is an ever expanding catalogue of practices, cults and consumables that deliver the opiate-like fix required by the obsessive.

                     PURE Duality 100cm x 100cm, Oil on Italian Linen SOLD

Dualism denotes a state of two parts. The word’s origin is the Latin duo, ‘two.’

The term was originally coined to denote co-eternal binary opposition, and as such forms the basis for modern research in mathematics and science. While the meaning is preserved in metaphysical and philosophical duality discourse, it also forms a major part of philosophical studies and western and eastern religions. Thus the idea of opposing good & evil, yin & yang and nihilism & belief, is a manifestation of the eternal struggle of opposites that defines humanity.

                     PURE Abandon 100cm x 100cm, Oil on Italian Linen SOLD

To engage in an activity with pure abandon suggests almost reckless high jinks done without thought of the consequences. So by juxtaposing the purity of one against the other, a refuse strewn puddle reflecting the sky could suggest, in its most literal interpretation, to be a condemnation of the evils of litter.

Or are there deeper meanings? Is this a comment of the unwillingness of some corporations to take responsibility for the ultimate destination of their products, such as the mobile phone manufacturers that had to be forced into creating recycling programs for their toxic, yet essentially disposable, products? Or does this reference the habit of multinationals abandoning their customers, employees and responsibilities by moving their manufacturing to the third world to take advantage of cheap labour and lax environmental legislation, as infamously demonstrated by Union Carbide in Bhopal, India? Or is this a question about the consumer themselves taking responsibility to do the right thing?

                   PURE Conjury 100cm x 100cm, Oil on Italian Linen SOLD

Everything is for sale. From invisible spectrum and undersea land rights to the
prospect of future rainfall, everything has been commodified, with desires of
corporations pitted against the requirements of many - from flora and fauna to
human needs. Often the victims are the poor and disenfranchised.

Bolivia is short of water. Having already privatised its railways, telephones,
airlines and hydrocarbon industry at the behest of the World Bank, in 2000
Bolivia was informed that the World Bank would not extend any loans for the
expansion of the water service unless it too was privatised. The service was sold to a consortium of English, Italian & American corporations, who first reneged on their promises to expand it with more dams and pipes, and then hiked the rates so the peasant farmers - amongst the world’s poorest - were paying more for water than for food.A threat to turn off the tap unless they paid led to mass protests, deaths, a state of emergency, and eventually, a people-power revolt that democratically changed the government. The region is still short of water.

This exercise reveals the conjurer’s trick. The basket of resources is finite. And no matter how cleverly mankind packages the world’s spoils for sale, he cannot make rain.

                 PURE Treachery 112cm x 112cm, Oil on Italian Linen SOLD

Dante’s Inferno describes Hell as nine layers, each more terrible than the last.
They are, Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Avarice and Prodigality, Wrath and Sullenness, Heresy, Violence, Fraud and finally, Betrayal.

That Dante considered betrayal to be the ultimate sin, worse than murder and
tyranny, is partly self-evident by some of the inhabitants of the ninth layer,
notably Cain and Judas Iscariot, but may also be explained by Dante’s own
life. Although a native of Florence, the epic poem was written in Ravenna in
approximately 1315 at a time when Dante’s career and political ambitions
had been thwarted by various intrigues and treachery, which had resulted in
the seizure of his assets and his being condemned to perpetual exile. With the threat of being burned at the stake should he return (indeed, the city council of Florence finally passed a motion rescinding Dante’s sentence only in 2008), he was never rehabilitated in his own life. And although Florence built a tomb for his remains in 1829, it remains poignantly empty to this day.

                    Predator, Prey 200cm x 120cm, Oil on Italian Linen

"To make sculpture can be as basic as this - you need a love of making things ... and when you have made work for a long time you can't just throw it together ... When you know how to do something properly, like playing a musical instrument - whatever it happens to be - you can't do it badly, you would be untrue to yourself ..."

Geoffrey Bartlett 2000   



Matthew first began painting as a teenager, but for a long time pursued other interests. He has worked variously as a graphic designer, photographer, life model, cleaner, salesman, art director, copywriter & interior designer. In the early 1990’s he taught at the art college ACPAC, in the middle nineties he wrote fiction, and in the late nineties lectured at Victoria University. Until 2005 he was also the Creative Director of his own advertising agency, Q&A. His first novel was short-listed for the Vogel Literature award, and he spent 5 years writing his second magnum opus. In recent years he returned to full time painting.


Matthew's current series "Pure" is the culmination of all his previous experience: The concepts rely upon his advertising experience of idea generation and expanding a given concept into a campaign. The layouts use his background as a graphic designer, constructed according to the principles of the Golden Ratio. His beginnings as an illustrator have been built upon with the techniques of the Old Masters, with each painting containing many layers of glazes to build up a velvety saturation of colour, without brush strokes. And his experience as a writer is utilised with the titles of the works, which are carefully conceived to add an unexpected extra dimension to each concept.

Indeed, with these paintings the titles are as important as the works themselves, as they alert the viewer to the fact that they are not witnessing merely a scene, but that they are quirky and sometimes humorous metaphors for a particular personality characteristic. With the combination of title and image, deeper meanings emerge, triggering the opening chapters to an endless array of stories the viewer is invited to create.

Pieces from  the 'PURE' series have been selected as finalists for the 2010 City of Albany Art Prize; 2009 Whyalla Art Prize; the 2009 Eutick Memorial Still Life Award, the 2009 Blake Prize Director’s Cut, the 2009 Mortimore Art Prize; the 2009 Churchie National Emerging Art Award, the 2009 Prometheus Visual Art Award; the 2008 Mortimore Art Prize; 2008 Norville Art Prize; the 2008 John Leslie Art Prize; the 2008 Mosman Art Award; the 35th Alice Prize 2008; the 2007 Duke Art Prize; the 2007 Mortimore Art Prize and the inaugural Macarthur Cook Art Award