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 Matthew Cornell  (1964 - )

About: Matthew Cornell


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Lived/Active: Florida/Kentucky/California      Known for: panoramic landscape and portrait painting

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Biography from Quidley & Company:
Matthew Cornell was born in Fairfield, CA in 1964. His earliest memories are of traveling across the United States by car. His childhood was, in a sense, the quintessential American experience, as the automobile, and the family trip was, and still is, ours. It is these experiences driving across this land at a young age that formed his way of seeing things.

Cornell says, "Every year we traveled across the US and I spent most of my time looking out of the window and observing the landscape and weather. We moved a lot and I got to see almost every part of this country. It was a blessing. It made me aware of the variety and the vastness the US has to offer".

After graduating from college at Long Beach State with a BFA, Cornell set out to find his way. "I needed to leave LA. College gave me a chance to work, but it did not teach me at all what I needed to make a living."

Cornell moved east and painted portraits for a number of years in Florida and Kentucky. It allowed him to work on his craft and survive, but ultimately it was only a transitional period to develop his own style of painting, and rediscover his true passion, the American landscape.

Cornell began exhibiting his work in art fairs across the country, which was a natural choice for someone who enjoyed seeing the country by car. He found success and won numerous prizes, including 5 Best of Show awards.  This encouragment led him to explore many landscape possibilities.

"I loved doing outdoor shows. It gave me a chance to really experience this country further and to sell my work. I blossomed under these conditions. My work became at once complex and minimal. I could do anything I wanted. And I did".

Cornell now shows exclusively in galleries and has been part of many group and solo shows since 1997.

Cornell current work is focused on richness in detail, juxtaposed by the small scale of his canvases.  He hopes that this intimacy will invite the viewer to take a closer look and see the huge world that he creates.  More than anything, weather has become the dominant interest of his landscape painting.

"I have always been fascinated by the extremes of weather and the power of nature," he says. "It is in a constant state of creation and destruction, of origin and destination. With everyday, the planet begins anew. Nature seeks equilibrium. It is in a never ending cycle".

He intends his work to be a celebration of our world.

Biography from a third party submitted on 02/28/2009:
Artist Statement:

From the violent storms that appear across the Plains, to the contemplative vistas of the Appalachia area, my paintings are sublime observations, filled with light, color and atmosphere.  The landscape is both dramatized in panoramic vistas and minimized in simple paintings of the ocean, each with equally effective measures.  The work is created in great detail on a small scale to encourage a more intimate interaction between art and the viewer.  All human presence has been eliminated, creating an idealized world where nature again rules.

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