Watson

De Stijl Auto Mech/Matthew Dean Williams 
Small Engine Gallery
Albuquerque

art review ABQ, 2017, Vol. 2, p. 16

“Art and technology often collide with the sunset but only after the drone phones have burned our eyes.”-Matthew Dean Williams

De Stijl Auto Mech by Matthew Dean Williams will have its opening reception on Friday, December 8th, 2017 from 6pm-9pm. This exhibit is inspired by the De Stijl art movement and the relationship between art and technology. Williams has devoted the past nine years of his life to the primary colors, spending two years only working with yellow, then red and then blue. Two years only using black and white and now using a combination of red, yellow, blue, black and white. The use of primary colors on top of a black and white image and the relationship between the mechanical shapes and the organic drawn shapes create an aesthetically intriguing piece that keeps the viewer entranced. Williams is interested in the relationship between color, natural forms and shamanism. Using only the primary colors his drawings are an abstract representation of technologies’ role in our world. The artworks use a strong correlation between colors, shapes and lines. He uses values of the colors to help create a sense of depth and harsh lines like those used in graffiti drawings.

When viewing the work my eye is automatically drawn to the overlapping and competing images. I am forced to try to recognize the image behind the child like drawing. William’s uses basic shapes and colors over an illegible mechanical figure just as a child would draw on an image whilst bored. His work resembles a scribble turned into a complex design and masterpiece.

The work is intriguing for the viewer and carries the relationship of art and technologies throughout the exhibit. It is a successful body of work because of its unique approach to a subject many contemporary artists are tackling. The artist shows skillfulness in how colors interact with each other and the importance of giving the viewer just enough information that they can figure out the context of the work on their own. His work is relatable to the younger generation of artists and shows how new age fine art made through technology and other interdisciplinary means are changing the scene. If you are looking to see something different and outside of the box, this is a show you won’t want to miss.

The Small Engine gallery is a hidden gem in Albuquerque’s art community. Located at 1413 4th St. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102 this gallery is easy to drive right past if you don’t know to look for it. Outside of openings, the gallery is open by appointment only which can be set up by emailing TheSmallEngineGallery@gmail.com. This gallery brings light to the experimental and DIY art scene showing artists whose work poses questions about arts role in the millennial era. Typically featuring contemporary artists that have a unique interpretation of the world and abstract approach to art making. The gallery space is small and needs help being maintained. The building is old and that shows in the gallery space. It is a unique space to show and works better for smaller groups and solo shows.

Kelly Watson
Albuquerque