From Top Clockwise around:
Rowing IV: a photograph;
Last Iceberg: oil on canvas, 61 x 90 cm;
AS Foyer: a commissioned installation that Matthew Wood
and his wife Joanna Czaderna Wood (Artist) created for clients
in Washington Depot, CT. It is silver leaf with removed
areas which are the trees on the property;
Annabelle: charcoal on museum board in 2 parts, 163 x 102 cm;
Theater Design (bottom image);
ASAP Mural: a mural directed and designed while working
with children and adults from Western Connecticut for
the After School Arts Program in Washington
Depot, Ct JoAnne Torti, president.
The mural is approx 125ft x 36ft;
For Love: 52"x90" oil on canvas,
Owned by Whitney and John Lancaster;
Bianca IX: a photograph of the Artists' daughter;
HMJ, oil on canvas, 173 x 173 cm;
Matt Wood's art is the product of great torment. The result is a sublime beauty and celebration of the mystery that lies ahead.
Matt Wood's work contains riotous celebration, paired with deep nostalgia. And while most of us are comfortable in resisting and then accepting "change", Matt pauses and brings cause to observation.
Artist Matthew Wood was born in 1961 in Portland, Oregon. He spent his childhood in Southern California. While on a swimming scholarship to the University of Iowa, he studied painting and drawing with Mauricio Lasansky. Matt continued his education with a full scholarship to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. During and after his studies at the Art Center, he traveled the United States (living out of his 1979 Caprice), taking pictures and creating artist books. These became trips of conscience—Attempts to document a world that was vanishing.
Mr. Wood's work contains thick massing of pigments and raw canvas. He seems to obliterate anything that ultimately does not belong to the essential nature of the piece. He will edit in any way possible, by sanding, repainting, burning, burying, et al. At times, he appears to push nature out of the way to create his own universe through a literal topography on the canvas. Are we seeing natures decay, or the vision of an artist capturing a fleeting moment?
Matt's roots are Polish and Russian. This seems fortuitous, because in 1992 he met and ultimately married Joanna Gamaj-Czaderna. Originally from Krakow, Poland, she has been in the States for 26 years and has significant professional experience as an interior decorator and artist. Her visceral devotion to Poland and its people and culture has awoken in Matthew a desire to explore the land of his ancestors. With their daughter Bianca, the family spends one to two months a year in Poland.
Recently, Matt and Joanna opened the Woodbury Antiques and Fine Art Gallery (WAFA) with the current exhibition: “Dreams, Fantasies and Other Realities,” featuring Artist Robert Crawford. Future plans for the gallery include a continuing series of exhibitions as well as artist talks, painting evenings and other art-related events open to the public.
“We are seeking to showcase and promote local and regional artists who work in a diversity of different mediums, in both solo exhibitions and group shows,” he said. “Our goal is to provide a place for a wider audience to become familiar with the exciting works of artists in our area, and to gain a deeper appreciation for the creative process.”
As co-director of the WAFA gallery, Matt brings more than three decades’ experience as a professional artist in painting, drawing, murals, sculpture and mixed media who has exhibited in solo and group shows across Connecticut and the northeastern United States. His artistic works often draw from personal experiences, such as his marathon 28.5-mile race as a nationally competitive swimmer around the island of Manhattan. He designed and directed creation for the After-School Arts Program in Washington Depot of a 4,500-square-foot mural painted by scores of children across western Connecticut on the side of a building in Torrington. He currently serves as the set director for the Clay and Wattles Theater Company at The Gary-The Olivia Theater in Bethlehem.
In addition to the gallery, Matt and Joanna work together on numerous projects providing decorative finishes, murals and furniture refinishing for private clients throughout the eastern United States.