Matthew Satz (b. Brooklyn, New York, 1971) is a contemporary artist based on Long Island’s East End recognized for his conceptually driven, process-oriented work. Satz's mark making responds to statements and working methods entrenched in the history of art that he views as open to challenge and warranting innovation.
Meticulously made and well-informed, Satz’s work embodies distinct moments in the silent dialogue unfolding in his mind: a dialogue between himself, his artistic forbearers and his contemporaries. Each artwork is a distilled comment in that conversation that would otherwise remain off-the-record. An artifact to be examined, referenced, and responded to.
Satz provokes powerfully. In 2004, he was included in the seminal exhibition North Fork / South Fork: East End Art Now at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York, where he tarred and feathered “the institution” in the company of iconic art historical figures. A self-described art world outsider, Satz relies heavily on his mantra “Concept + Process = Aesthetic.” The result is a diverse body of work that reinforces the history of painting by filling elegantly, in concept and manner, specific voids.
Satz has developed several related series of works that continue to expand and evolve. Beginning with tar and feather, followed shortly after by smoke, then by strip, strand, and finally by-product paintings, Satz revisits these series cyclically, creating new variations and birthing formal/material concepts that aim to innovate the discipline of painting.
Highly refined works on paper such as the American Mandalas and the Tondo Studies expose Satz’s obsession with accuracy and monk-like dedication to process. He employs rigorous technical methods to attain the perfection he seeks, and should a mark fall short of that standard, the piece is often reworked in totality or discarded.
Satz’s influences are many, diverse, and some quite obscure. Spanning centuries, they include pioneers such as Jasper Johns, Sol Lewitt, The Zero Group, Bruce Nauman, Peter Paul Rubens, Chris Burden, Marcel Duchamp, Sigmar Polke, Ad Reinhardt, Botticelli, and other painters, writers, poets, and even mythical figures. Alicia G. Longwell, Ph.D., The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator of the Parrish Art Museum wrote: "from Leonardo Da Vinci's sfumato to Jackson Pollock's drips, Satz's work is a balance between emulation and annihilation.”
Satz has lived, worked and exhibited across the United States and abroad. After earning a B.A. in Fine Art from Brandeis University in 1993, he soon relocated to East Hampton permanently in 1995, where – after stints in Los Angeles and Miami – he continues to paint and explore other outlets of expression under the entity Satz Studio Inc. Concurrent studio projects include textile design, architectural collaborations, and digital applications.