Boston University School of Visual Arts Presents Mathew Cerletty’s Fallingwater

in Arts, College of Fine Arts, News Releases
September 6th, 2006

Contact: Ellen Carr, 617-353-8783 |
Contact: Jean Connaughton, 617-353-7293 |

(Boston) – The Boston University School of Visual Arts presents new and recent work by alumnus Mathew Cerletty (CFA ’02). Mathew Cerletty: Fallingwater will be on view Tuesday, September 12 through Friday, October 20, 2006 at the Sherman Gallery at Boston University. The opening reception is open to the public and will be held on Thursday, September 14, 5:30-7:30pm, with the artist present.

The exhibition showcases a selection of new and recent paintings and works on paper by New York-based artist and School of Visual Arts alumnus Mathew Cerletty. In a departure from the artist’s earlier hyper-realistic, provocative paintings and drawings of mainly detached, solitary young men placed in front of intricate and opulent backgrounds, Cerletty shifts his focus in this new series towards minimalist abstraction. Cerletty’s lone figures are exchanged for isolated gestures and fragments of text set against pale, monochromatic fields that are imbued with irony and wry humor.

Cerletty’s Fallingwater, a nod to architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s signature masterpiece (and further represented by a drawing in the exhibition by the artist), articulates an unembellished and structured compositional style that slyly references the streamlined structures of the International Style that inspired Wright’s design. The conceptual framework of the exhibition is energized by Cerletty’s exceptional ability as a painter. His exquisitely rendered forms and lines draw attention to the subtle use of color and the sublime delicacy of the painting’s surface.

Cerletty’s refined aesthetic is not merely formalist strategy. The seemingly arbitrary directness of works such as Diet Coke (2006) establishes in the viewer a formal immediacy that negates its ambiguity. The slick, black lettering suspended in infinite space can be read as a humorous anti-message; the form becomes its functional meaning. In Untitled (2006), an expressionistic fragmented torso positioned on slate-colored ground elegantly gestures in unknown contemplation. The painterly white swaths, in cool contrast with the exquisite detail of the stylized and androgynous hands (peculiarly finished with purple nail polish), infuses the painting with a charismatic air that animates the abstracted form.

Thursday, September 14, 5:30–7:30pm
Sherman Gallery

Wednesday, September 13, 1:00-2:00pm
College of Fine Arts, 855 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 500

Sherman Gallery at Boston University
775 Commonwealth Avenue, Second Floor, Boston or 617-358-0295

Gallery Hours
Tuesday-Friday, 11:00am–5:00pm
Saturday and Sunday, 1:00–5:00pm

Admission is free and open to the public

Mathew Cerletty received his BFA in painting from Boston University School of Visual Arts in 2002. Since then he has exhibited his work extensively in New York including consecutive solo exhibitions at Rivington Arms in 2003, 2004, and 2006 and has been featured in group exhibitions at Andrea Rosen Gallery, Mary Boone Gallery, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, and John Connelly Presents. Additionally, he has shown his work at Peres Projects in Los Angeles and the Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot in Paris. Cerletty is currently participating in the exhibition USA Today at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Cerletty’s work has frequently been reviewed in numerous publications including ArtForum, ArtReview, and The New Yorker, among others.

The Sherman Gallery at Boston University is dedicated to showcasing the work of talented alumni and faculty, as well as exhibitions that complement the curriculum at the School of Visual Arts. Located on the second floor of the George Sherman Union Building at 775 Commonwealth Avenue, the gallery is highly visible to both the BU community and visitors attending programs on campus. Some artists featured in the space have included Pat Steir, Deborah Cornell, Hal Reddicliffe, Margaret McCann, and Jon Imber.

The School of Visual Arts at the College of Fine Arts was established in 1954 as a professional training school at Boston University. With faculty composed of practicing professional artists, the school offers an intensive program of studio training combined with liberal arts studies leading to the Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees. Courses prepare students for future study or professional practice in painting, sculpture, graphic design, or art education. Notable alumni include painters Brice Marden and Pat Steir; Ira Yoffe, vice president/creative director of PARADE magazine; and Rick Heinrichs, the production designer whose credits include “Fargo,” “Edward Scissorhands,” and “Sleepy Hollow,” for which he received an Oscar for Art Direction in 1999.

The Boston University College of Fine Arts was created in 1954 to bring together the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts. The University’s vision was to create a community of artists in a conservatory-style school offering professional training in the arts to both undergraduate and graduate students, complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students. Since those early days, education at the College of Fine Arts has begun on the BU campus and extended into the city of Boston, a rich center of cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.

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