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MATTHEW SONTHEIMER
at Talley Dunn Gallery until September 1st
by Todd Camplin

Think about the movie "Beautiful Mind," where the main character John Nash has
filled his office with seemingly connected information, or artist Mark Lombardi
mapping a kind of conspiracy in visual form. Now take this global mapping
compulsion and focus in on the conversation level and you might start
to see Matthew Sontheimer's unique perspective.
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Are these works collage, drawings, or remnants of scripts for short plays? My guess is that these works
are undefinable conceptual creations that are more about ‘becoming’ than being something.
A sense of story is laid out with connective lines, breaks, and images; but the mass amount of text
in works like “Three Season Porches,” and “Points of Order” leave you a bit baffled. You get lost in
trying to read all the words, which have a similar effect to his old work in which he actually
obfuscated his words. I have often found when presented with visual art using a massive amount
of words, the text starts to abstract and you start to see shapes and the composition becomes
more clear. Only when you focus in on the works, maybe take a note pad of your own and take
notes while reading, can the conversation start to take shape. “Points of Order” could almost
be an internal dialogue as he is describing his process while you read along. He listed the paper
he is using and the font he has chosen, like a Postmodern novelist, he seems hyper aware
and self-referential while he is writing.
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Todd Camplin
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Visually, I see a toned down David Carson, Ray Gun Magazine styling to text and image, mixed
with concrete poetry, and sketch book aesthetics. His content makes me believe he is mostly
influenced by the sketch book, because the words seem so personal in his thought process. I
Shooting Games, 2012 (detail)
Diptych, mixed media on paper | Right panel depicted, 22 x 26 inches

Points of Order, 2012
Mixed media on paper | 9 1/4 x 9 7/8 inches