Christy Matson: The Cloud

10 June - 8 July 2023

Philip Martin Gallery is proud to present, "The Cloud," a solo exhibition of new woven, wall-mounted works by Los Angeles-based artist Christy Matson.

Christy Matson's woven wall-mounted works combine the skill, sensitivity and craft of painting and hand weaving with the artist-directed process of an industrial Jacquard loom. The result is an art object of beauty and depth that reveals important details with regard to art objects, how we make and look at them. Matson begins her process with watercolors, ink drawings, collages and other works on paper. She then uses a digital process to translate these compositions into instructions her loom can understand, and, as she works the machine, improvises on the weft (horizontal rows) with creativity and nuance.

The loom Christy Matson uses, a Jacquard loom, was patented in the early 19th-century by French industrialist Joseph Marie Jacquard. Originally a card-driven device, the Jacquard loom has a remarkable ability to process information and organize complex operations, and is now generally seen as the progenitor of modern computers. In Matson’s hands, the Jacquard loom is a machine of precision and spontaneity, blending both analog and digital aspects. She notes, "I work back and forth between very analog materials, whether that is physical yarn itself that I paint on, or marks that I make on paper. I then use a digital process to make a physical object with a tangible presence that functions both like a painting and a textile, with the all the history of both mediums, and an awareness of modern tools and computer process.” 

"I think about textiles in relationship to body, in that there is a certain kind of physicality we have in inhabiting our own bodies. Textiles are a nice metaphor for that," Matson says. "I think about the Jacquard loom as a drawing device, or drawing tool. On my loom, I can make what appear to be organic and flowing lines, raise certain areas, put in a line of yarn, or material. I think about it as if I had a pen or paintbrush.” Matson's pieces work both haptically and intellectually, connecting us emotionally and physically to the pieces we see and to their deeply psychic ordering system - the grid. Long a topic for painting and industry alike, "There is something psychologically grounding about the idea of a grid," Matson comments "It is simultaneously an organizing structure, it is a pattern, but it is also a principle in general." Her support, "the canvas itself, the linen, is a grid. It is a weaving. It is an interlacement of threads, with paint on top of it." 

"One of the things I have always loved about hand-weaving is that it is the simultaneous building of the structure and the image at the same time." Matson suggests that the history of textiles and painting is “the ingenuity of the human brain working its way out over time,” engaging in an underlying conversation of shared experience. In Christy Matson's work, we see expression and perception, ideas and information, helping us better understand ourselves, and the world in which we live.

Christy Matson (b. 1979, Seattle, WA) received her BFA from the University of Washington (Seattle, WA) and her MFA from California College of the Arts (San Francisco, CA). Matson's work has recently been featured solo exhibitions at the Milwaukee Art Museum (Milwaukee, WI), Cranbook Museum of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI) and Long Beach Museum of Art (Long Beach, CA). Her work has highlighted in such group exhibtions as "Seeing Chicago," curated by Duro Olowu (Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL); "40 Under 40: Craft Futures" (Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC); John Michael Kohler Art Center (Sheboygan, WI); Contemporary Arts Museum (Houston, TX); Knoxville Museum of Art (Knoxville, TN); Municipio di Maniago, (Pordenone Italy); Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA); Ciurlionis National Museum of Art (Kaunas, Lithuania); Hyde Park Art Center (Chicago, IL); Bakersfield Museum of Art (Bakersfield, CA); Craft and Folk Art Museum, (Los Angeles, CA); and  Museum of Craft and Folk Art (San Francisco, CA). Articles and reviews on Christy Matson's work have appeared in New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Sculpture, Fiber Arts, Textile, Artillery, Surface Design Journal and Time Out. Matson is represented by Volume (Chicago, IL) and Rebecca Camacho Presents (San Francisco, CA). Christy Matson lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. 

Christy Matson's exhibition is on view June 10 - July 8, 2023, with an opening for the artist Saturday, June 10 from 5– 8pm. 


Philip Martin Gallery is open Wednesday - Saturday 11-5 and Tuesdays by appointment. If you might like to visit the gallery on a Tuesday, please email, or call  (323)-507-2037, as it is likely we can accommodate your visit.

The gallery is located at 3342 Verdugo Road, Los Angeles CA 90065. For additional images or information, please call 323-507-2037, or email