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Art Opening Reception: Matt Wood and Zach Lytle
March 18 @ 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
an exhibit of paintings and drawings by Matt Wood and Zachary Lytle
Matt Wood has a degree from the University of Iowa and started his business in 1996 creating murals, decorative finishes and commissioned artwork in homes and businesses from Maine to Florida. Matt currently has artwork at GeorgeHome and Byrde + the B in Washington Depot, CT and a piece or two at StudioHill in Woodbury, CT. He has an exhibit opening in January 2024 at the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT. Matt Wood’s work on display will consist of paintings, drawings and photographs.
A 2017 trip to Iceland had a resounding effect on Matt Wood’s work. The trip given to Wood and his wife by their daughter, and the harsh realities of how climate change and global warming have impacted that starkly breathtaking but precarious environment deeply impressed Wood. His insights are now expressed throughout his multi-disciplinary works. “I like to challenge myself” is how Wood explains his many outlets of artistic creation including the eloquent artwork in oil, charcoal drawing, and photography that will be on exhibit at the Minor Memorial Library gallery. In addition to his travels, artists Anselm Kiefer and Gerhard Richter as well as artist/playwright August Strindberg have profoundly inspired Matt Wood’s work. His style is intricately gritty, in depth, mesmerizing, and expressive. In addition to the Icelandic series, his subjects range from the Steep Rock Preserve to flower arrangements observed from unique perspectives. The organic approach that he experiments with has even included burying canvases in his Woodbury meadow, recovering them, and working the earth into their dialogue. “Nothing is precious,” explains Wood. A lifelong artist, he feels that his current work is particularly eloquent, “Now I’ve sort of landed as an artist. I’ve gathered so much, now it’s time to shovel it into my work.”
Zachary Lytle has an MFA in painting and printmaking from Yale University and completed drawing and painting programs at the New York Studio School. He was a teaching assistant in the Art Department at Yale University and got fellowships for Yale Gloucester Landscape Painting, Yale Norfolk and Yale Travel with a focus on European Painting at the Louvre. Zach is a guest lecturer at the Wadsworth Atheneum and currently teaches Drawing and Painting at Westover School in Middlebury, CT.
Zach’s works are in various private collections and in the collection of Conservator of the Yale Center for British Art.
Zach Lytle purposefully does not title his work, “I’m hoping that people will see something representational and personally meaningful in my portraits,” explains Lytle. “I’m hoping the viewer will see beyond the individuality of the image. A work should transcend the simple subject matter. For an artist, that’s so liberating.” His representational art was deeply influenced by European studies where he encountered works from the Northern Renaissance, a classical and yet deeply nuanced outgrowth of Medieval art. Taking the 15th Century style and seeing it from a fresh eye toward portraiture, Lytle adds another element, especially with his images that follow a subject in several guises. “My goal is to contain time in my work. The process of creation is apparent. A person is more than what you would see at a glance, they’re a continuum.” The two artists have long planned to collaborate in a show. “It’s the perfect pairing,” says Zach Lytle.