Renovated Bollinger

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Posted by Caitlin



Matt Bollinger is back with his second solo exhibit, “Recent Renovations,” which opened May 31st at Rodger LaPelle Galleries.

The 31 paintings in this exhibit are thematically consistent with the raw, edgy representation of American life that was visible in Bollinger’s exhibit last May 2005 (see post here). However, he has expanded his subject matter from figure drawing to include more landscape-driven works, such as “Flood,” a response to Hurricane Katrina, and “Grocery Aisle,” a small painting of a supermarket.

“Afternoon in July” (Oil on canvas, 120” x 96”)


Of notable mention is the diptych “Afternoon in July.” The two halves of the painting appear to represent a before and after sequence, with the color progressing from a warm, passionate red to a colder green. Oddly, although the figures involved are in intimate surroundings and erotic poses, their faces do not betray the expected signs of passion or enjoyment. Both appear desensitized to the sexual act in which they are performing, and the tone of the painting is more lonely than loving.

“New Growth” (Oil on canvas, 37” x 63”)

A painting with very different subject matter is “New Growth.” At first glance it is hard to tell whether the scene is of construction or destruction, with cranes and dirt occupying a large portion of the space. Sketchy figures could represent the present, while red lines and silhouettes suggest the future growth of the house. Overall, it would seem that the negative impact of the activity on the environment overshadows the good of the creation of new residence.


The paintings offer a bleak look into the lives of the young men and women that Bollinger depicts, (note, he repeatedly uses himself as subject). The everyday is exploited to become almost nightmarish, although his use of color and interesting perspective are quite beautiful. You can see more images on my flickr site here.

Bollinger, a 24 year-oldMissourinative, has sold 104 paintings in the past year, while he lived inPhiladelphia. He is currently studying for a master’s degree inRhode Island.

Matt Bollinger: “Recent Renovations” Through June 30th. Free. Rodger LaPelle Galleries,122 N. Third St. Wednesday to Saturday 12 to 6 pm. 215.592.0232

-Caitlin Gutekunst is an artblog intern.