UPCOMING SHOW Up to 20 worhs March l-30,2012 Arcadia Gallery 5l Greene Street NewYork, NY 10013
of twilight atthew Cornell's painttng,
Road, exemplifies everything he is
trying to accomplish in his latest series
of paintings. The painting depicts a
junction on a small country road at twilight. The two-lane paved road turns off into a bumbling dirt road enveloped in darkness. Ar-r unmarked street sign frames the scene on
the left while an overgrown cropping of weeds
Iills in the other side of the painting. The overall leeling of thc randorn night scene is one of mystery and familiarity, comfort and, possibly, concern. "You see the main road in the loreground
and then the turn off ends in
darkness," says Cornell. "You see the street, the
dirt road, and the unmarked strcct sign and you start to get the idea of the things happen
our lives that you never know
how they will turn our. You rnake a decision, then turn olf into the unknown." Cornell loves painting at twilight because of the transitory nature of this time of day. The low light of twilight, the time berween day and nighr. i' when "rhe rright creaturet are \rauing
to stir ar-rd hum," when the fbeling of
unknown starts creeping into ordinary daily scenes and mystery soon envelopes a scene.
"It intrigues me, the mystery of the twilight," remarks Cornell. "You begin to notice things and things look different. Have you ever noticed how dillerent your own home looks at night rather than day? Things appear,
disappear, and the
mysterious and strange quality."
This series also is inspired by Cornell's
lovc of discovcry. Driving through
towns across the country on his many travels or just finding spots around his home in (lrlando, Florida, Con-rell always lir-rds himself wondering about thc lives of the peoplc hc comcs across
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"You pass by a house and think 'lVho lives there?' '\7hat is their story?' "What is going on inside that home?,"' explains Cornell. "I often think about the lives people lead, even if I ve never known them. \What got them to where they are now? How they moved in that direction."
Another painting Crossroads.\X4t11e
in this series is titled
the scene at first glance appears
to be a common railroad crossing in Anytown, USA, Cornell finds much more here.
"So, I wanted to paint the place where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in exchange for guitar genius," says Cornell. "I figured if this legend were really true, it would have to be a relatively benign place. It seems like it would be a simple place and not one ofgrandiosity. In the story, it was, indeed, near railroad rracks. In rhis painting we are Robert Johnson, on the railroad tracks oflifel \fle are coming to a crossing. tVe are given a choice. On the right, which is impossible to see here, is a children school crossing sign. This is meant to represent innocence. On the left is a business, which could be a bar, a juke
joint, or whatever. It is occupied and
24 hours, because the devil is always open
Life is about choices. Robert
tVhat is mine?" Johnson made his. Another important aspect of the paintings D.lwN,
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in this series is the
The largest is 20 by
20 inches while the smallest is roughly B by 8 inches.
"One of the effects of the smaller pieces is that they are not necessarily closed," says Cornell. "lVhen you look at one, you see far off into the distance of the paintings. I've always Iiked rhar. I Feel ir is an intimare experience when you stare into the painting and can see so
For a direct linb to the exhibiting gallery
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Published on Nov 16, 2013
American Art Collector Magazine featuring a preview of Matthew Cornells one man exhibition "FROM DUSK" in March 2011