After four years of undergraduate studies at Boston University, Matthew Cerletty stood by for his big launch. For most artists, that’s the stuff of dreams, but for Cerletty, it was a reality. He had talent to begin with, and after four years at Boston University, he had the whole package: the ambition, the skills, the connections, and the portfolio he needed to get his first show.
Within months of graduating, he would debut his paintings in the heart of Chelsea, get a review in the New York Times, and begin preparing work for a solo exhibition. Within a year, he would exhibit in shows with his heroes—such painters as John Currin— and within five, he would show his work in Tokyo, Paris, and Russia. By the ten year mark, Cerletty would be tapped for a group show at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
The momentum he carries today—that which got him into Flatlands, a five-person exhibition Whitney Museum of American Art in 2016, among so many other exhibitions—has an origin point, and that locus is Boston University. “The professors took a ton of time for me. They gave me critiques outside of class, and one professor gave me his old books.” Among them was a very special book: that of John Currin. He became a fan of the great painter, but would never guess that the names Cerletty and Currin would appear on an exhibition card together. The stuff of dreams? That’s what Cerletty does for a living.