Matthew Craven

United States 1981

Collage, Drawing

Matthew Craven
Matthew Craven
United States
December 4, 2015
Art somehow explains a lot that's happening in the world right now. Feel free to contact me at

Matthew Craven is an American contemporary artist born in Grand Rapids, in 1981. He is well-known for his history based collages. Craven got his BA from Michigan State University in 2004, and his MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 2010.

Collages by Matthew Craven

Matthew Craven - Bleed (left) - Burst (center) - Expansion (right)
Matthew Craven – Bleed (left) / Burst (center) / Expansion (right)

Aged 22, Craven enrolled at art school, and that fact made possible for him to create his own style, without being heavily influenced by existing trends in art. When the artist moved to New York, he came as an abstract painter, but knew that wasn’t the right way to express himself. It was his friend giving him a bunch of frames with American history illustrations inside. Craven was seeking a new way of expressing, so he just started drawing on top of these illustrations. Much to his surprise, the reactions were positive, so he decided to further explore the possibilities of collages.

Collages by Matthew Craven

Matthew Craven - Source (left) - Fragments (center) - Speak (right)
Matthew Craven – Source (left) / Fragments (center) / Speak (right)

The little things are what really matters to Craven. In the process of reconstructing the image in the size of a book page, his art doesn’t look like it’s a pile of things just glued and smashed together. For a long time, he felt rather insecure about receiving credit for altering and using other people’s images, but he is slowly finding a way to make his work more personalized, so he can call it his own. Art is so much more than aesthetic appreciation, it is deep existential exploration. Craven wants for people to stop and think where we are, and how we got here. He wants us to think about history, and the passage of time. The artist likes how he feels small in such a big universe, and draws inspirations from that feeling of humbleness.

Collages by Matthew Craven

Matthew Craven - Steps body, 2015 (left) - Two pots, 2015 (center) - Zig zag, 2015 (right)
Matthew Craven – Steps body, 2015 (left) / Two pots, 2015 (center) / Zig zag, 2015 (right)

He is represented by Mini Galerie, Amsterdam, NL.

Matthew Craven lives and works in New York.

All images courtesy of the artist.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016TBADavid Shelton Gallery, Houston, TXSolo
2016TBAAsya Geisberg Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2015Solo Booth, Art on PaperFMLY, New York, NY 2015Solo
2015UR SPRUNG Muster-MeierBern, SwitzerlandGroup
2015TomorrowHashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco, CAGroup
2015Texas ContemporaryDavid Shelton Gallery, Houston, TXGroup
2015Pattern ChaosCinders Gallery, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2015Fresh Prints at PS1 Book FairLIC NYGroup
2015Amsterdam DrawingMini Gallery, Amsterdam, NEGroup
2015ReminiscenceMini Gallerie, Amsterdam, NEGroup
2015Ducks!Minotaur Projects, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2014Solo BoothVolta Art Fair, DCKT, New York, NYSolo
2014Share This! Appropriation After CynicismDenny Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2014Ducks!Greenpoint Terminal Gallery, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2014NSFWRichard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2014Graphic ThoughtsCES Contemporary, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2014Volta Basel with DCKT, Basel, SwitzerlandWhite Walls, San FranciscoGroup
2013Get This!Gallery, Atlanta, GASolo
2013Oblivious PathDCKT, New York, NYSolo
2013RepeaterPopp's Packing, Detroit, MISolo
2013TotemsAsya Geisberg Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2013American CollageGerald Peters Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2013Paper Vernacular with House of the NoblemanCutlog Art Fair, New York, NYGroup
2013Wider than a PostcardBreeze Block Gallery, Portland, ORGroup
2013Atmospheric PressureWilliamsburg Art & Historical Center, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2013No Longer Presidents But ProphetsDelicious Spectacle, Washington D.C.Group
2013The Scenery Changes Three TimesSchema Projects, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2013One and DoneLaunchPad, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2012FRGMNTSGallery Hijinks, San Francisco, CASolo
2012Strange LandsCindy Rucker Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2012Fun New TribeAAF, New York, NYGroup
2012Portait of a GenerationThe Hole, New York, NYGroup
2012In The Corner Of My EyeDrake Hotel, Toronto, ONGroup
2012Wise BloodField Projects, New York, NYGroup
2011PaperChasersNudashank, Baltimore, MDGroup
2011ReconstructDeconstruct History, Like the Spice, Brooklyn NYGroup
2011Nothing Gold Can StayLive with Animals, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2011Shape of the LineDunham Place Salon, New York, NYGroup
2011Allegra LaViola with HuskMitNavnNew York, NY Group
2010Future MythsGrizzly Grizzly, Philadelphia, PASolo
2010Lordz of the FlyzeNudashank with Julian Duron, Baltimore, MDGroup
2010Black and White and Read All OverNP Contemporary Art Center, New York, NYGroup
2010Plus One,Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2010Uncommon CommencementsHeather James Fine Art, Palm Desert, CAGroup
2010Thank You, But It is Actually on PurposeVisual Arts Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2009History Is Written By The WinnersMarvelli Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2009Electric Kool-AidVisual Arts Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2008A Friend IndeedKatzen Center, American University, Washington D.C.Group
2005New WorkFine Arts Gallery, College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MIGroup
2004Administrative ShowFine Arts Gallery, College for Creative Studies, Detroit, MIGroup
2004Hit to Death In the Future HeadGallery 114, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MIGroup