Matt Gatton: “INSCAPES”

July 2, 2021 through July 31, 2021

Artist Opening Reception: Friday July 2, 4:00 – 7:00pm
Artist talk: Saturday July 17, 2021 1:00-2:00pm
Artist Closing Reception: Friday July 30, 5:00 – 7:00pm

Zatara Contemporary Gallery is pleased to announce “INSCAPES” a show by renowned portrait photo-sculptor Matt Gatton opening July 2, 2021 and showing through July 31, 2021.

Gatton’s portraits are visual poems, a photographic form of magical realism, which conveys not only the appearance of the person, their presence in an indexical way, but also expresses their essence, evoking their true spirit through collaged, dreamlike, imagery. This series is about the deep connections between the land and people of New Mexico — landscapes as ‘inscapes’ — beauty and drama internalized and reflected.  

Gatton is a pioneer of portrait photo-sculpture as a fine-art medium, having worked in the field since the 1980s. Photo-sculpture combines the two-dimensional veracity of photography with the three-dimensional reality of sculpture. This enhances the presence and essence of the subject. Photo-sculpture is, in some respects, a postmodern translation of the remarkable polychrome sculptures of Greek antiquity and the Spanish Golden Age, when artists sought to ‘en-vivify’ their subjects with exquisitely detailed surface treatment. Gatton’s portrait work is offered in two formats: in 3D, the photo-sculptures themselves, and in 2D, as prints of the photo-sculptures. The large format prints are made using an archival dye sublimation process on aluminum, Chromaluxe.



Matt Gatton is a pioneering photo-sculptor and scholar based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was born in Europe, raised in North America, and performed his graduate studies in Asia. Gatton has exhibited extensively, including works in the Hayward Gallery, London, UK; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki Finland; MoMA PS1 Contemporary Arts Center, New York, USA; and the Ayala Museum, Manila, Philippines. Gatton’s photo-sculpture work brought him into contact with many important art world figures, including Chuck Close, Richard Avedon, and Duane Michals. Gatton has also collaborated with noted conceptual artist Judy Freya Sibayan (under the curatorial direction of Hou Hanru and Hans-Ulrich Obrist). Gatton’s passion for imagery has led him to become a leading expert in the ritual and aesthetic uses of physical light in prehistory and classical antiquity. Gatton has written on the origins of art for the festschrift of the renowned Oxford art historian and da Vinci expert, Martin Kemp. Gatton’s groundbreaking work on optical distortions at Lascaux was published in the Journal of Applied Mathematics (APLIMAT) and Oxford University Press published his work on optics in ancient Greek religious rituals (Eleusis). Gatton has lectured at the Institute of Archaeology at Oxford among others. A large arts festival in Belgium was themed on Gatton’s art writings, which were also presented by Neil de Grasse Tyson on National Geographic’s ‘Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey’. “With all the intellectual bona fides,” curator Naomi Stuecker notes, “it’s easy to forget that Matt Gatton is, first and foremost, a stunningly talented artist.”