Matthew Day Jackson

Matthew Day Jackson Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

Matthew Day Jackson
Harriet (Last Portrait)


Woodburned drawing, yarn, aniline dye, mother of pearl, abalone & black panther eyes on wood panel

243.8 x 182.9 cm

Matthew Day Jackson’s Harriet (Last Portrait) monumentalises the image of a black woman on a large oval panel. Working with the artisan techniques of wood-burning and precious stone inlaying, Jackson’s drawing alludes to both antique religious icons and the tradition of folk-craft. Coloured with aniline dye, a pigment used for staining fabric, and the collaged application of yarn, Jackson’s drawing conveys a stunning vivacity, offering a portrait of heroism that frames American cultural history with futuristic promise.

Matthew Day Jackson
Hung, Drawn & Quartered II (Treeson)


Tree branch, spiked leather, taxidermy eyes, braided rope, scythe handle (leg), birkenstocks, boot stretcher feet

198.1 x 61 x 15.2cm

Using found materials, Matthew Day Jackson’s sculptures appropriate the cultural symbolism of everyday objects to reassemble visions of American identity. Hanging from the ceiling as primitive mobile, Hung, Drawn and Quartered II is an abject effigy of a lynching. Constructed primarily of a tree branch, Jackson draws upon a romantic heritage, converting his felled utopia into an animistic totem: adding boggle eyes, scythe handle legs, leather studded ‘stockings’, and dangling Birkenstock feet. Uniting references to colonial optimism, native mysticism, pioneering technology, socialism, andhippie fashion, Jackson executes a portrait of lost ideals.

Matthew Day Jackson
Alphorn with Quartered Stand (Horn of Lady Liberty)


Woodburned drawing on dead tree trunk, handcarved, alphorn mouthpiece, abalone, epoxy, aniline dye, shellac & tree root

213.4 x 182.9 x 487.7 cm

Staging an uprooted tree trunk as trumpet, Matthew Day Jackson’s Alphorn With Quartered Stand poses as a figurative call for revolution. Harking back to an age of political innocence, Jackson adopts readymade natural form as an allegory of freedom; positioned beside a stump carved with an eagle insignia, the horn’s dead and varnished tendrils stand as monument and relic. Drawing reference to the American Transcendentalists and new world heroic folklore, Jackson’s sculpture resounds with a nostalgic patriotism reflective of contemporary discontents.

Matthew Day Jackson
Dance of Destruction (Featuring 'Lady Liberty' as Shiva, Wovako, Eleanor and Jim Jones)


Posters, stickers, photographs, acrylic, push pins & needlepoint

approx. 25 feet long, dimensions variable

Appropriating the media of grass-roots protest, Matthew Day Jackson’s Dance of Destruction is a conglomeration of prints and photographs fly-posted on the gallery wall. Satirically heralding the greatness of America, Jackson places images out of context, rewriting his own ironic version of history. From the origins of a dynasty evidenced by George Washington’s face on the Sphynx, an antique advert boasting the bio-hazard construction of the White House, to a cavalier image of Ronald Reagan made up of his own conflicting words, Jackson revises a nation’s mythology, consolidating parody of current political issues with ‘how it might have been’.

Matthew Day Jackson
Hungry Ghosts (from the Civil War Battlefield series)


C-print and bumper sticker collage mounted on aluminum with wood support

121.9 x 152.4cm

Matthew Day Jackson’s Hungry Ghosts pictures the spirits of the American Civil War foraging for food; their barren field now lush parkland emblazoned with an environmental bumper sticker. Highlighting the discrepancy between the pioneering lore of America and the state of its current affairs, Jackson’s photograph conveys cultural critique, reuniting national allegiance with moral responsibility.

Matthew Day Jackson
The Lower 48 - Wyoming


48 C-prints

Each: 39 x 56 cm Overall: 312 x 336 cm

It would be misleading to say that sculptor Matthew Day Jackson simply photographed anthropomorphic land formations in the course of a four-month drive through the continental United States, as if they were just sitting there waiting for him. Perhaps a few of these noble heads were, but many others were camera shy and had to be coaxed out of hiding – only from certain camera angles would they agree to expose themselves. This initial reticence aside, the 48 different sentinels, each representing an historic region (Lincoln Head Park in Washington; Bandon Rocks in Oregon, Hells’ Half Acre in Wyoming, etc) pose with the same proud determination shown more or less a century ago by Edward Curtis’ Indian chiefs. But who are they? The answer, Jackson tells us, requires us to peer into a post-apocalyptic future, where each portrait depicts one of “Mother Nature’s Land Soldiers.” Through erosion, pollution and relentless environmental degradation they have resurfaced to reclaim the earth, guarding forests, surveying coastlines and even looking skyward for potential threats.

Text by William A Ewing

Matthew Day Jackson's Biography

Matthew Day Jackson

Born in 1974, Panorama City
Lives and works in Brooklyn


In Search Of..., Gemeente Museum Den Haag, The Hague

Heel Gezellig, GRIMM Gallery, Amsterdam
Everything Leads to Another, Hauser and Wirth, London
In Search Of..., MAMBO, Bologna, Italy
In Seach Of....,Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland

In Search Of..., Peter Blum Chelsea, New York
The Tomb, Peter Blum Soho, New York

Gezellig, Galerie Emmanuel, Perrotin, Paris
Dynamic Maximum Tension, GRIMM Gallery, Amsterdam
The Immeasurable Distance, Contemporaray Arts Museum, Houston
The Immeasurable Distance, Massachusettes Institute of Technology, Cambridge
Hi, Low and In Between, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin
Matthew Day Jackson/Rashid Johnson, Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery for FIAC, Paris

Terranaut, Peter Blum Gallery, New York
Drawings From Tlon, Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York

Diptych, Mario Diacono, Ars Libri, Boston
Matthew Day Jackson: The Lower 48, Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York
Paradise Now ! (The Salvage)Workspace: Matthew Day jackson, The Blanton Museum Of Art, Austin

Matthew Day Jackson- Paradise Now! (Limbo)CUBBITT Artists Space, London
Paradise Now! Portland Institute of Contemporaray Art, Portland
Oracle (Days of future Passed) mario Diacono at Ars Libri, Boston

Matthew Day Jackson, Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York

By No Means Necessary, The Locker Plant, Chinato Foundation, Marfa, Texas


Out Of Focus: Photography, Saatchi Gallery, London

Born in Dystopia, Rosenblum Collection and Friends, Paris, France
The Shape we're in, Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK
Il Mondo Vi Appartiene, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy

Nobody;s Property: Art, Land, Space, 2000-2010, Princeton Univeristy Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey
Tauba Auerbach, Matthew Day Jackson, R.H Quaytman etc, Galerie Perrotin, Paris
How Soon Now, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, Florida
Curators Choice Portfolio, Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, London for CUBITT
Home and Origin, Bukowskis, Stockholm
Alejandro Jodorowsky's Dune: An Exhibition of a Book That Never was, Plymouths Art Centre, Plymouth
C'est La Vie: De Caravage a Damien Hirst, Musee Maillol, Paris
The Franks-Suss Collection, Phillips De Pury's Space at the Saatchi Gallery, UK
Roundtrip:Beijing- New York, New Selections from the Domus Collection, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
Born in Dystopia, Rosenblum Collection, Paris, France
Hope!, Palais des artes et du festival, Diabrd France
New Paintings, GRIMM, Amsterdam
(LEAN), Nicole Klagsbrun GAllery, New York

The World is Yours, Louisiana Museum, Copenhagen
Alejandro Jodorwsy's Dune: An Exhibition of a film of a Book That Never Was, The Drawing Room, London
Deceitful Moon, Hayward Project Space, London
Mapping The Studio: Artists from the Francois Pinault Collection, Punta Della Dogana, Venice

Matthew Day Jackson and Sara Krajewski: The Violet Hour, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle
Palimpset, Gallerie Xippas, Paris
The Old, Weird America, Contemporary Art Museum, Houston
Martian Museum of Terrestial Art, Mission: To Interpret and Understand Contemporary Art, Barbican Gallery, London
Heartland, VAm Abbemuseum, Eindhoven

Huma Bhabha and Matthew Day Jackson: Sculptures and New Print Editions, Peter Blum Gallery, New York
Shangri La, Alexandre Pollazzon Ltd, London
Uncertain States of America – American Art in the 3rd Millenium’, Herning
Kunstmuseum, Denmark (March); Warsaw, Poland (March); Moscow Biennale
(January); Beijing Biennale (October); Athens Biennale (Fall 2007)
E-flux Video Rental, Centre Culturel Suisse, Paris
The Line of Time and the Plane of Now, Harris Lieberman, New York

Whitney Biennial: Day for Night, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Infinite Painting, Villa Manin Centro d’arte Contemporanea, Manin, Italy
USA today, Royal Academy of Art, London
The Searchers, White Box, New York
Uncertain States of America – American Art in the 3rd Millenium, Serpentine
Gallery, London; Museum Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College,Annandale-on-Hudson; Reykjavik Art Museum
Kamp K48, John Connelly Presents, New York
Infinite Painting – Contemporary Painting and Global Realism, Villa Manin, Centro d’arte contemporaine, Codroipo

Material World, Public Art Fund, MetroTech Center, New York
The Zine UnBound – Kults, Werewolfs and Sarcastic Hippies, Yerba Buena
Center for the Arts, San Francisco
Sticks and Stones, Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York
Studio: Seven Months of My Aesthetic Education (Plus Some) New York
Version and Climaxed, Tony Oursler Studio, Metropolitan Museum of Art,New York
Uncertain States of America, Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo
You Are Here, The Ballroom, Marfa
Motion, Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe
Bridge Freezes Before Road, Barbra Gladstone Gallery, New York
The Greater New York, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York

Mommy! I! am! not! an! animal!, Capsule Gallery, New York
Relentless Proselytizers, Feigen Contemporary, New York
SuperSalon, Samson Projects, Boston
Drift III, Valentino Pier Park, Brooklyn

K48: Klubhouse, Deitch Projects, Brooklyn
Spiritual Hunger, Daniel Silverstein Gallery New York
Now Playing, D’amelio Terras Gallery, New York
Drift II, site specific exhibition at the former home of Buckminster Fuller,
White, Black, Yellow, Red, Storefront 1838, New York
Biennial, Portland Museum of Art, Portland

Drift, environmental exhibition, Manasquan

…sorta like a revelation, Rabbett Gallery, New Brunswick

Sans Titre, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder