MATRIX @ 40: Collection Connections

January – October, 2015

  MATRIX artists are often inspired by the museum’s collection and introduce a fresh perspective on an old favorite. This exhibition pairs the works of past MATRIX artists and the objects that sparked their imaginations: Michelle Elzay photographs our Meissen Sparrowhawks, Louise Lawler looks at Claude Lorrain’s lush landscape from a new angle, Virgil Marti explores the romanticism of Frederic Church’s light-filled seascape, and Christian Jankowski takes on 25 years of MATRIX art projects.

Each of these artists is interested in a different aspect of the original work of art. It might be a color, a theme, or the way the painting is displayed. No matter the point of departure, the results are always thought-provoking, adding to the rich artistic history of the Wadsworth.


Virgil Marti, American, born 1962, Thanatopsis, 2013, Urethane, MDF, and silver plating, The Douglas Tracy Smith and Dorothy Potter Smith Fund, 2014.1.1


Frederic Edwin Church, American, 1826–1900, Coast Scene, Mount Desert, 1863, Oil on canvas, Bequest of Clara Hinton Gould, 1948.178


Michelle Elzay, American, born 1973, Passion Fruit Sparrow Hawk and Dove and Hawk, 2013, C-print, Purchased through the gift of Robinson A. & Nancy D. Grover, 2014.23.1


Sparrowhawks, c. 1739 and 1768–70, German, Meissen, Meissen Porcelain Factory, Modeled by Johann Joachim Kaendler, German, 1706–1775, active 1731–1775, Hard-paste porcelain, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917.1283–1284

  A timeline of MATRIX exhibitions is below and also on view in the exhibition. The documentation of this series is an important legacy for the museum and history of contemporary art.