KHFA exhibition archives

Mind Gathering

Works by Matthew Bourbon
October 12-November 16, 2019
Opening reception Saturday, October 12, 6:00-8:00 pm
Artist will be in attendance

Kirk Hopper Fine Art is excited to announce our second solo exhibition by Matthew Bourbon entitled Mind Gathering.

For the past two years, Bourbon has worked to reduce and refine the subject and method of his painting. After over two decades of creating figurative narrative painting, the artist has purposefully eliminated the overt descriptive portrayal of people and scenes in his art. In its place he has sought something more direct. "I began this work from a variety of thoughts and impulses. I sought to paint modest objects as a stand in for many possible ideas: landscape, the human body, architecture, sculpture, and industrial objects," states Bourbon.

Essentially, Bourbon wanted to draw a connection between the contradictory sense of immobility and activity one finds in painting with the stillness and activity one confronts while sitting in meditation. Despite a long history with painting, skepticism is the bedrock of his relationship to the medium. "I doubt much about art. I wonder about the efficacy of paintings to act in the world; I'm uncertain about the merit of didactic communication in visual art, including claims artists often make about narrative and abstract painting. I am riddled with uncertainties about art, yet my instinct toward making paintings that try to touch the inner life of my mind, and dare I say emotional life, remains resolute. Maybe this is a sign of madness," the artist states.

Because of his doubts, Bourbon works to make paintings that are simultaneously serious and light. He brings the notions described above to each canvas, while recognizing and embracing the nearly constant absurdity present in our society, the art making instinct, and in this thing he calls his life.


Matthew Bourbon is an artist and writer. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Bourbon earned separate undergraduate degrees in Studio Art and Art History from the University of California at Davis. Relocating to New York City, Bourbon earned his Masters of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts. Since then, his art has been exhibited nationally and internationally.

A selection of group exhibitions include: Rodeo, Galeri Rasmus, Odense, Denmark; The Song Sings Itself, Kenise Barnes Fine Arts, Larchmont, New York; Death of a Propane Salesman: Anxiety and the Texas Artist, Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, Fort Worth, Texas; Red Velvet, Rudolph Projects/Art Scan Gallery, Houston, Texas; ArtExpo 2005, Salone d'Arte Contemporanea, Trieste, Italy; London Biennale 2004, Gallery 32, London, England; and I, New York Arts Gallery, New York, New York. Past solo exhibitions include Arch Decievers, Avis Frank Gallery, Houston, Texas; Tender Pioneers, Darke Gallery, Houston, Texas; I, Conduit Gallery, Dallas, Texas; The Artist's Eye, Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas; and I, Studio 107, Austin, Texas.

Bourbon has been nominated and won numerous awards for his work. Recently he was awarded the Otis and Velma Davis Dozier Travel Grant by the Dallas Museum of Art to conduct research in Japan, and he was named an Institute for the Advancement of Art Fellow at the University of North Texas. He has also been selected twice to be included in the Texas Biennial and in New American Paintings, where his work was highlighted as a Juror's Pick. Bourbon is currently a Professor of Art at the University of North Texas' College of Visual Arts and Design. He is also an art critic and contributor to Art Forum Online, Flash Art, ArtNews, New York Arts Magazine, and Glasstire, and served for several years as the regional editor for the journal Art Lies.