Matthew Langley studied at Virginia Commonwealth University and The Corcoran School of Art. While earning his BFA at Corcoran, he studied under luminaries such as Gene Davis, Robert Stackhouse, Tom Green, and other members of the Washington Color School and the D.C. artistic community. The use of space and color in his paintings demonstrate Langley’s mastery as a colorist and reveal a higher sense of order and harmony. Combining poetic titles and nonlinear visual narratives, with each work Langley creates a contemplative space that encourages the viewer to observe, consider, and reflect.
Now based in Manhattan, Langley’s work continues to garner local and national attention, recently appearing in publications including Art in America, New York Magazine, Southern Living, The Washington Post, The Washington City Paper, Elan Magazine, DCist, and The Bowie Star. He is also part of major national collections including: Ernst and Young, D.C. Commission for the Arts and Humanities, MacAndrews & Forbes, The Doris Patz Collection (University of Maryland), and Saks Fifth Avenue. In 2016, Langley was chosen as an exhibiting artist for CONTEXT: Miami’s Art in Public Places. He also launched a Kickstarter campaign to published A Year in Painting, a book chronicling 365 small paintings from 2015. He received overwhelming support, meeting half his goal in a week and half.
I have always been drawn towards creative approaches that generate a friction between actions performed as an artist and the visual frameworks that create the artwork. Between these concerns it is critical for the artworks I produce to be able to stand alone without an exhaustive document or map telling the viewer what it is that they are seeing or how they should see it.
My focus on approaching this work is with openness, eagerness, and a lack of preconception of the final outcome. I have found new ways of working and discovered qualities about my work that were unknown to me. In this latest work, I have become far more sensitive to the idea of balance. These new paintings are heavily influenced by a project I started in 2015 where I would create a painting every day. The daily artworks, while both structured and extemporaneous provide a way to create without over-thinking while at the same time require a focus that ultimately allow the work to succeed.
With these new artworks, I have become focused on a fluid approach to building up the image. I feel I have found a new space that allows my work to push forward as well as up and out while allowing an intimacy that allows the viewer to get inside the work, seeing both the finished artwork and the process that took it there. This idea of being able to see both the finished artwork as well as the history of its making has always been a major concern of my work.