• Matt Bahen: The Strange Garden

    NOVEMBER 4 - 27, 2021

  • Literature has been Matt Bahen’s primary source of inspiration throughout his career. He aims to convey the power of allegory and metaphor with paint. While many of his landscapes evoke a particular place, they are constructed, similarly to how set design is used in film, to fit the story being told. 

     

    In The Strange Garden, Bahen adopts the traditional literary device of the enchanted forest or forbidden wood, often used in science fiction and fairy tales. Science fiction treats reality as something that is malleable to express the issues or anxieties of a certain time. For Bahen, landscape and climate change are now conflated and he addresses this notion by combining different types of scenery, such as deserts, marshes, and mountains, to create imagined places that are at once familiar and unnatural.


    Bahen also inserts surreal flowers, colourful moss and unexpected colour to activate his landscapes and push the subjects into unfamiliar territory. While Bahen’s paintings are instantly captivating with their impasto surfaces and distant horizons, the compositions gradually unfold as carefully structured visual narratives that depict a more ominous view of nature gone awry. 

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  • Matt Bahen, All The Scars to Become an Armour, 2020

    Matt Bahen

    All The Scars to Become an Armour, 2020 oil on canvas
    60 x 66 in.
    $ 14,000.00
  • Matt Bahen, And He Waited for the Wind to Answer, 2021

    Matt Bahen

    And He Waited for the Wind to Answer, 2021 oil on canvas
    48 x 54 in.
    $ 12,000.00
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    MATT BAHEN

    AS THOUGH IT WAS OF SOME OTHER ORDER, 2021

     

    oil on canvas

    72 x 78 in.

    $ 16,000.00
  • I am not making a documentary; I am making fiction. With fiction, you can tell stories. Stories are not necessarily fact-based, although they often expand and build upon real ideas and events. For me, this is a role that painting fills perfectly. Traditionally, paintings were purposeful, they were allegories. This tradition seems to have all but disappeared, but I believe that painting can continue to play this role.

    - MATT BAHEN

  • Matt Bahen, The Strange Garden, 2021

    Matt Bahen

    The Strange Garden, 2021

    oil on canvas
    78 x 108 in.

    SOLD
  • Matt Bahen, The Sand Bore no Ill in its Dominion, 2021

    Matt Bahen

    The Sand Bore no Ill in its Dominion, 2021 oil on canvas
    60 x 60 in.
    $ 14,000.00
  • Matt Bahen, He Heard A Warning and Turned Away, 2020

    Matt Bahen

    He Heard A Warning and Turned Away, 2020 oil on canvas
    48 x 54 in.
    $ 12,000.00
  • Matt Bahen, To Parley with Ghosts, 2021

    Matt Bahen

    To Parley with Ghosts, 2021 oil on canvas
    36 x 36 in.
    $ 9,000.00
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  • Matt Bahen was born in 1979 in Schomberg, Ontario. He received his BFA from the Ontario College of Art in...

    Matt Bahen working on The Strange Garden, in his Toronto studio

    Matt Bahen was born in 1979 in Schomberg, Ontario. He received his BFA from the Ontario College of Art in 2002. In 2013, his solo exhibition, Gravity's Faith, was held at the MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie. Bahen is represented in Toronto and New York.