October 18, 2007
Matthew Offenbacher paints as if he's weaving, which gives his work a folk art quality. He also paints in pure streams, simulating the abstractions of early 20th-century innovators such as Sonia Delaunay. His paintings are about painting, and each is a dive into history's pool.
"Exhibition" is a response to Whistler's "Peacock Room." Instead of peacocks, Offenbacher offers turkeys with paint gems at their feet, signifying the conflicts of the original commission.
What is painting for? It can celebrate the process of a brown burrowing mole, as in a painting whose title begins, "Recognizing the diligence with which death approaches." It can fill the night air with intimate consequence, as in, "Some Rothko Problems," and it can color the moon as Thoreau saw it from Walden Pond, after Emerson said he was wasting his life.
One thing is certain: Offenbacher is not wasting his.
— Regina Hackett