The Arts Initiative at Palmetto Bluff, a new program conceived to inspire and enrich lives through art, in all its forms, is honored to announce an exciting partnership with the estate of American contemporary artist and National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellow, Matthew (Matt) Baumgardner, whose work is featured in multiple private and public collections including the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston and the Greenville County Museum of Art in Greenville, SC. The Art of Matt Baumgardner: Channeling Universal and Spiritual Planes will showcase a curated selection of his paintings, works on paper and birch plywoods, and will be on exhibit and available for purchase from October 28 – November 6, 2022 at FLOW Gallery + Workshop, which sits at the heart and social center of Palmetto Bluff’s Wilson Village.
“My work imparts a transformative experience that resonates with my longings to channel universal and spiritual planes; I want to transport the spirit, to remind us all that we are perfect beings passing through a transient world. My soul craves expression through poetic and timeless art that beckons the viewer to return time and again to find renewal and fresh experiences.” – Matt Baumgardner
Baumgardner’s body of work synthesizes two disparate approaches – free-
form mark-making and a formalized grid based on spatial frequency. Developed and refined over 26 years, Baumgardner’s unique process and materials play a vital role in delivering this vision. His inspiration includes a wellspring of sources, from petroglyphs to cubism – and art world luminaries including Piet Mondrian, Paul Klee, Joan Miro, Jackson Pollock, Brice Marden, Cy Twombly, Robert Ryman, Alfred Jensen, Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Agnes Martin, James Turrell and Robert Irwin. Baumgardner’s process was to study the classics and old masters, absorb the successful modernists, and then strike out in new directions to express a unique vision honed by his modern lifestyle and experience.
After earning his MFA at UNC in Chapel Hill in 1982, Baumgardner moved to NYC where he spent most of his professional career. In 1993, he was awarded a national Visual Arts Fellowship in Painting by the National Endowment for the Arts for his birch plywood series, representing his signature technique of embedded glyphs in multiple layers of pigmented gypsum. From his early career through his 22-year tenure in NYC, Baumgardner’s artwork was exhibited in 14 solo and more than 30 group shows, including at internationally recognized galleries such as Charles Cowles (New York), Edward Thorp (New York), Jeffrey Coploff (New York), Wessel O’Connor (New York), Bentley (Scottsdale), Carrie Secrist (Chicago), LewAllen Contemporary Art (Santa Fe), and Galerie Marie-Louise Wirth (Zurich, Switzerland).
In 2006, Baumgardner relocated to rural Travelers Rest, SC, where he
designed and built a live/work studio on an acre of land in 2009, a serene haven in which he created his work for nearly a decade. Since returning to the Carolinas, Baumgardner’s work has been exhibited in a major solo retrospective at the Greenville County Museum of Art and at other venues, including Art San Diego, Spectrum Miami, Forré & Co. Fine Art (Aspen and Vail), Eckert Fine Art (Mass MoCA campus) and Art on Paper, Pier 36, NYC. His estate has also partnered with the Furman University Art Department, providing students with the opportunity to research Matt’s career and curate exhibitions of his work since 2019. Baumgardner’s_love of nature and its four elements – earth, air, water, and fire – permeated his life and art. Inspecting insects with his microscope, tending to his garden laden with flowers and edible plants, swimming with his daughters in the Caribbean or exercising in the pool at his studio, lighting fireworks or burning a pile of pruned branches on his grounds, contemplating clouds and beautiful sunsets, and touring country roads were simple joys that inspired him.
“On behalf of the Baumgardner estate, I am enthused to collaborate with The Arts Initiative at Palmetto Bluff to deliver a compelling experience for this vibrant community of art patrons,” said Riley Murphy, Personal Representative, Matthew Baumgardner estate.
FLOW Gallery + Workshop houses the physical showcase of The Arts Initiative at Palmetto Bluff and includes work from the Artist in Residence program and a curated collection of acclaimed Southern artists. This diverse lineup of talent includes a rotating series of exhibitions, workshops, and events featuring blue chip and emerging artists, craftsmen, musicians, makers, and chefs. Ideally located in Wilson Village, FLOW welcomes members and guests to foster immersive hands-on interactions and a deeper appreciation for the artists whose work represent the elements that comprise Palmetto Bluff. The thread that connects featured artists at FLOW is a reverence for the artistic process and their chosen crafts and a deep connection to the values of this unique community.
For more information, visit www.PalmettoBluff.com