Work > Destructive Distillation

matt lively painting
Tar on enamel
20 x 24 inches
2018
matt lively painting
Tar on enamel
20 x 24 inches
2018
Bill Fisher matt lively
Tar on enamel
21 x 26 inches
2018
Valerie Molnar Matt Sphar matt Lively
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Tommy VanAuken Matt Lively
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Tom Chenoweth Matt Lively
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Todd Hale Matt Lively
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Tim Harper Matt Lively
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Stephen Clark Matt Lively painting
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Shaylen Broughton matt lively
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Sally Bowring matt lively
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Paul DiPasquale matt Lively
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Noah Scalin matt Lively studio
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Nils Matt Lively
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Nico Cathcart matt lively painting
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Miguel Carter-Fisher Matt Lively painting
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Mickael Broth Matt Lively
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Lucy Gillis Matt Lively painting
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Lester VanWinkle Matt Lively
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Kendra Wadsworth matt lively
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Joe Siepel sculpture matt lively
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Ian Hess Christina Wing Chow Matt Lively
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Heide Trepanier matt lively
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Hamilton Glass Matt Lively painting
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Emily Herr matt lively painting
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Elizabeth King Sculpture matt Lively painting
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Ed Trask Matt Lively painting
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Diego Sanchez Matt Lively painting
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Chuck Scalin matt Lively painting
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Buddy Terrell matt lively painting
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Matt Lively painting austin finch
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Andy bality Matt Lively painting
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Amy Smith Matt Lively painting
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Amie Oliver Matt Lively painting
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018
Alyssa Salomon Matt Lively painting artist
Tar on enamel
12 x 12 inches
2018

Destructive Distillation is the decomposition process of unprocessed material by heating it in the absence of oxygen. Over millions of years, nature grinds inexorably toward its own essence. Trees die, becoming compost and peat, and eventually — starved of oxygen — tar. The tar for roads and rooftops is made by people speeding up that process in a controlled way by heating coal, wood, petroleum or peat in the presence of no oxygen to the point when the only thing left after all of the molecular bonds have been broken down is tar.

25 years into my career as an artist, I am retracing my steps - not for the sake of nostalgia - but to dismantle the structure of my work. This particular numbered anniversary made me really conscious of where I was, who I met, and the materials I used during that time and how they helped direct my career.

Using only tar on enamel on wood, I am boiling down and choking off the essentials of my own work. Depicting studios and physical environments in which other artists engage in their own processes, I am stripping away my habitual essentials of color, whimsy, and ego to squeeze out what is left. I am removing everything that has informed my work along the way: voices of teachers, fellow artists, collectors, galleries, family and friends and my own thoughts.

The artists’ studios that I’ve depicted in the collection for Destructive Distillation are the work spaces of some of the people who have helped me in one way or another during my career. Thanks to all of the incredible artists who allowed me to visit their studios.

-Matt Lively