bureau inc

Matt Hoyt: Recent Past, 2010-2016
Albright-Knox Art Gallery
Buffalo New York
October 21, 2016 - February 5, 2017

The sculptures of Matt Hoyt often evoke improbable growths from the natural world: unknown seashells or bone fragments, barnacle accretions or twigs, stones, pits, fungi, rinds, and husks. This near-familiarity draws us close – what exactly is that? We edge closer still with the detection of tool- marks and the color of putty, signs of human manipulation rather than organic development – how did he do that? Hoyt does not directly base his works on found objects—they are abstractions—but an uncanny almost-recognition inescapably colors the experience of these sculptures. The matte, palm-sized objects are laboriously crafted from traditionally non-art materials such as wood fill and plumber's caulk on an improbably intimate scale—each sculpture begs to be picked up and turned over, palmed and worried like a lucky stone, or pocketed like a talisman. This is visual art that wants to be haptic, that instantiates the human desire to apprehend through touch. Hoyt's hauntingly poetic sculptures demonstrate the artist's extraordinary investment of time in his craft, even as they evoke more epic durations, such as evolutionary or geological time. These objects invite contemplation, and in so doing, they resist speed—a rare tonic in frenetic times.

For his exhibition in the Gallery for Small Sculpture, Matt Hoyt has designed an installation of mainly new work that has been in development for the past six years. More than 100 individual objects and discrete sculptural groups will be installed within the exhibition's 19 vitrines. Hoyt's work has been featured in important group exhibitions, including the 2012 Whitney Biennial, and Greater New York, MoMA/PS1 in 2010. This is the most significant solo exhibition of his work to date, and his first one-person museum exhibition.

—Cathleen Chaffee, Senior Curator