Hans Schmitt-Matzen

b. 1980, Mansfield, OH
I’m really interested in gesture and finding gesture in the world.
John's Sea Creature
John's Sea Creature

Hans Schmitt-Matzen’s paintings, photography, and sculptural works impart a universal gestural language drawn primarily from collaboration with his children. His process begins with interpretations of drawings made by his two young sons. Translating their innate language of marks allows him to discover shared aspects of the human condition and better understand their emotions. Often these collaborations are realized in the form of neon wall sculptures: stunning, serpentine, lyrical “light drawings” that harness a symbol of the sublime and unruly. As the fastest element in the universe, light becomes the ideal metaphor for the representation of these fleeting moments and interactions. Other pieces generate from the artist’s own drawings created during observation, play and exploratory conversations about these works with his children. From these, Schmitt-Matzen works in wood and sculpture compounds to construct figures akin to relics of an ancient time, like stone ciphers meant to decode enduring, elemental messages.

Hans Schmitt-Matzen received his BFA from Middle Tennessee State University with an emphasis in painting and a minor in philosophy. He lives and works in Nashville. His work has recently been exhibited in group shows at MDR in Germany, Like the Spice Gallery in Brooklyn, Track 13 Gallery and Zeitgeist Gallery in Nashville, and Salisbury University Gallery in Baltimore. He has had solo exhibitions at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art, Nashville International Airport, and Material. Schmitt-Matzen is director of internal affairs at Frist Art Museum, Nashville.

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John's Sea Creature
John's Sea Creature
The Master
The Master
John's Cobra
John's Cobra
John's T Rex
John's T Rex
Hsm The One Who Rules Atlantis
Hsm The One Who Rules Atlantis
John's Sea Creature
John's Sea Creature
13mm white neon tubes, GTO wire, electronic transformer, 28x35
2016
The Master
The Master
13mm white neon tubes, GTO wire, electronic transformer, 70x23
2016
John's Cobra
John's Cobra
3000K 13mm white neon tubing, electronic transformer, GTO wire and tube supports, 34x28
2015
John's T Rex
John's T Rex
12mm white neon tubes, GTO wire and electronic transformer, 25x23
2014
Hsm The One Who Rules Atlantis
Hsm The One Who Rules Atlantis
15mm white neon tubes, GTO wire, electronic transformer, 32x70
2016