About the works

…and myself

Matthias Maier | Paintings | King IV

In a nutshell

Matthias Maier is a self-taught Swiss-German artist. He lives and works in Basel, Switzerland and New York City, where he has also started to exhibit. He employs photography, cyanotype, screen printing and collage, as well as acrylic paint to create unique semi-abstract compositions which are characterized by geometric grids. The works usually relate to nature, architecture and people.
Outside the studio, he captures in photographs the obvious and hidden beauty of ordinary days on long walks in both, urban environments as well as in nature.

Learn more

Statements on the works
Artist bio & exhibitions
Latest news

Matthias Maier | Screen Prints | Little Owl
Matthias Maier | Paintings | King IV

In a nutshell

Matthias Maier is a self-taught Swiss-German artist based in Basel, Switzerland and New York City where he has also started to exhibit. He employs photography, cyanotype, screen printing and collage, as well as acrylic paint to create unique semi-abstract compositions which are characterized by geometric grids. The works usually relate to nature, architecture and people.
Outside the studio, he captures in photographs the obvious and hidden beauty of ordinary days on long walks in both, urban environments as well as in nature.

Learn more

Statements on the works
Artist bio & exhibitions
Latest news

Matthias Maier | Screen Prints | Little Owl
Matthias Maier | Paintings | King IV

In a nutshell

Matthias Maier is a self-taught Swiss-German artist based in Basel, Switzerland and New York City where he has also started to exhibit. He employs photography, cyanotype, screen printing and collage, as well as acrylic paint to create unique semi-abstract compositions which are characterized by geometric grids. The works usually relate to nature, architecture and people.
Outside the studio, he captures in photographs the obvious and hidden beauty of ordinary days on long walks in both, urban environments as well as in nature.

Learn more

Statements on the works
Artist bio & exhibitions
Latest news

Matthias Maier | Paintings | King IV

In a nutshell

Matthias Maier is a self-taught Swiss-German artist based in Basel, Switzerland and New York City where he has also started to exhibit. He employs photography, cyanotype, screen printing and collage, as well as acrylic paint to create unique semi-abstract compositions which are characterized by geometric grids. The works usually relate to nature, architecture and people.
Outside the studio, he captures in photographs the obvious and hidden beauty of ordinary days on long walks in both, urban environments as well as in nature.

Learn more

Statements on the works
Artist bio & exhibitions
Latest news

Matthias Maier | About my paintings

About my Paintings

Life is a collection of moments and stories in which we play our roles, roles that we are constantly changing. Each of us is different and each of us experiences the same world in a different way, biased and through filters which have been given to us growing up and by experiences we’ve made. There are countless views of each detail which is one of an infinite number of details of which our environment is made of. So is our life a sequence of moments, loosely strung together. Nothing is what it seems, reality is experienced in countless variations and we all think our version is the truth… We try to bring order into this chaos, making plans that we discard later or that are transformed by life itself.

My paintings are based on this perception of life. I wanted to express visually all these thoughts I’ve made for myself about life and to understand my existence in all this. In my works I use a symbolic language to portray these philosophical insights visually. The paintings look like prints, brushstrokes you look in vain. They are carefully crafted, painted and unique pieces, according to the principle, that nothing is what it seems.

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About the square picture format

The square does not occur as a natural form – apart from some rare crystal formations – and is a creation of man. It is a static, balanced, geometric form that conveys something solid, concrete, fundamental. With its evenness, the square – according to Plato – is next to the circle of perfect beauty. Analogous to the circle, the square encloses and excludes.

For me the square is a symbol for human life. The concrete time and the concrete space in which we move in our earthly existence. It delimits everything that we do not know and can only believe. In this given space, limited by birth and death, we strive for bliss, for harmony, for beauty.

About the subject and its abstraction

The subject of the painting is the variable in my painterly works. It usually arises as a result of an intensive examination of various themes that preoccupy me.  Sometimes, however, the choice is just determined by spontaneous influences. The spectrum of motifs ranges from human images, floral and animal subjects to everyday objects, architecture and technology. The starting point for the subject is material of photographic origin – images from real life.

In the examination of the motif, parts of it are abstracted and represented, for example, as a dot grid or inverted. Sometimes complete sections are missing. This is to address the multiple personality of the subject itself. The person (flower, animal, object), perceives itself in different ways, depending on the momentary state of mind and emotions. The perception of oneself depends on whether one is happy or sad, afraid, feels strong or weak, loved or outcast, tired or awake, sick or healthy.    

About the grid

The color areas that make up the grid of the paintings symbolize the filters that act externally on the subject. They are transparent color applications that overlay the original image, allowing it to appear in various interpretations. The task of the grid is also to give the overall image a harmonious appearance: the views on a motif, the opinions about it can be of the most diverse nature, on the whole they all have a justification, they balance each other out, they do not call the motif into question.

About the geometric drawings

Lines and geometric patterns executed in ink complete a large part of the paintings. They stand for the plan that underlies either a being, an object or an idea. The original, perfect plan that excludes filters and self-perception and invokes the ideal conditions that underlie the element. The different patterns are all based on the same square grid, picking up on the symbolism of the square as a harmonious, perfect and balanced shape, properties on which plans we make are based.

Matthias Maier | About Geometrix

About Geometrix

The more modern we become, the greater grows the gap between nature and us. We are about to lose contact, building ourselves a virtual world behind smooth and glossy screens. No frills, no unnecessary ornaments decorate the modern buildings we build and in which we spend our lives.

Geometrix explores the question: what happens when nature is forced into a grid? When does the original image, the original meaning get lost and transcend into a pattern? When will the floral, indivdual forms be seen as geometric shapes and the original motif recognizable only on a closer look? The works also show how our basically exciting, interesting lives degenerate into monotony when we always do the same thing – a tendency we readily indulge in for convenience, but which can cause dissatisfaction and a sense of living a boring life.

Geometrix uses photographs of flowers and blossoms as its starting material. In some works, the initial photos have been manipulated by blending multiple images together as well as some illustrations, which results in fascinating color geometries.

Matthias Maier | About my photography

About my Photography

If you try to own what you love, chances are you are destroying it, from the very first moment you make it yours. From the flower you cut, to the man you want to be, the way you want him to be. True love sets free and does not possess.

Photography for me is capturing all that beauty and love out there and keep it forever mine: the moments, the stories they tell, the obvious and the hidden ones, the beautiful beauty and the ugly beauty. All done without even touching the original, without leaving traces of my presence.

Photography for me is also applying my own filters on the copy of the original, giving the image my accent, my emotion, telling the story through my own visual language.

In my photos I am again influenced by my love for rhythms and grids, patterns and colors of the urban environment and architecture I live in, as well as the lushness beauty of pure nature.

Although I see myself least as a photographer, photography is with me every day and takes up a large part of my working time. It allows me to easily connect with creativity, anytime and wherever I am. Capturing the beauty and the little and big wonders that surround me is a continuous invitation to walk through my life with open eyes.

Matthias Maier | About my silk screen prints

About my Silk Screen Prints

I have always been passionate about printing. In fact, my painted images resemble prints and I am often asked, what kind of printing technique I use or how large the edition is. 

What fascinates me about manual screen printing as I do it in my studio, is that I can create works in editions. I can reproduce an idea as often as I want without much effort. On closer inspection, however, each work is a unique specimen. It is like the leaves of a tree, which at first glance all seem the same and have the same message. On closer inspection, however, there are no two identical leaves, each one is a unique piece, that is not perceived as such in the greater context.

Matthias Maier | About my cyanotypes

About my Cyanotypes

Cyanotype involves coating paper with a solution of green ammonium iron citrate and potassium hexacyanidoferrate and then drying it. This makes the paper photosensitive. The desired motif is then placed on the paper as a negative and the whole is exposed to the sun for a few minutes. Afterwards, the paper is washed out with water and the motif appears in the characteristic blue tone called Berlin or Prussian Blue. It was actually this blue that draw my attention on these technique which is around since the middle of the 18th century. What further excites me about cyanotypes is the fact that it involves sunshine in the process and thus creates a connection with nature. The final achieved color tone depends on the exposure time, which itself depends on the strength of the sun and is influenced by the daytime and the season. 

In addition to independent works executed purely in cyanotype, I like to combine this technique with color overlays or realize parts of the motif in my painted images with cyanotype.

Matthias Maier | About Matthias

About myself

Born in 1967, I grew up in Germany’s Black Forest and Milan, Italy. I live in Basel, Switzerland and New York City. I prefer thinking over talking, giving over taking and I deeply love both urban environments of cities and open nature.

Best thing you can experience in life? Synchronism! I am always blown away when the right things happen at the right time.

I try to deal with life, to answer the questions that occupy me and to be at peace with myself and the world. I am happy with the life I lead and my place in the universe. I love and feel loved.

Visual arts have always been part of how I love to express myself. However, I suppressed the idea of being an artist until the age of 40. When I finally decided to follow my heart instead of the path others told me would be best for me, I painted stripes for over two years. Then by some chance of synchronism, my stripes turned into grids. 

Since the first digital cameras appeared, photography has been a part of my life and I somehow wanted to combine photography and painting into something new. This is how my paintings turned into what they are today.

Besides visual arts, I do sports like jogging, mountain-biking, yoga, hiking, swimming, taking care of people in need and listening to all kinds of music. I love interior design, books and cooking and of course my family and friends. Yes, I am always busy–but if you do what you ♥︎, this is just perfect.

Exhibitions

2020 – current Ongoing exhibition at Qunstwerk, Basel

2019 Veronika! – solo exhibition, Qunstwerk, Basel

2017 Group exhibition, Atelier Hochstrasse, Basel

2016 Liste – Art Fair, Basel

2015 – 2016 The Yard / Lower East Side, New York City

2015 Atelier Hochstrasse, Basel

2014 Atelier Hochstrasse, Basel

2013 Atelier Hochstrasse, Basel