Art Show: Liminal Perceptions, paintings and drawings by Matthew Tunnessen

calendar icon November 1, 2021 - November 30, 2021

This show will feature paintings and drawings surveying the artist’s recent work. They are transitional, experimental pieces, building on previous study of the old masters (Titian, Tiepolo, Whistler, Rodin) but newly inspired by certain contemporary musical and film artists to incorporate dissonances and overlapping textures to break up and distort visual melodies.  One of the ways he has analogized this goal is to seek to depict the literal space between the eye and its object, the vibrating light and air, with its optical and imaginal distortions.

The paintings and drawings emerged from playing around with the particular character of the different materials used to make them. Most of the newer paintings are done in watercolor on metal or wooden panels. These are then painted over in layers of encaustic (hot wax) to add depth. The focus is on textures, atmospheres and color fields interacting with the static, more traditionally representational watercolor painting beneath the shifting transparent wax layers.


Matthew Tunnessen is a largely self-taught painter and draughtsman. He lives in Surry with his wife and three children. For more information on his work see

The exhibit will be in the library’s Britton Gallery and Roland Howard Room and available for viewing during library hours for the month of November subject to the Howard Room schedule. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of artwork will go to benefit the library.