In the 1980s, Matthew Geller switched his studio practice from primarily sculpture to the production of video works, reworking the structure and style of television storytelling with comic narratives that played off conventional genres—documentary, fairytale, melodrama. Employing fragmentation and disjunction as storytelling devices, Geller intercut several seemingly unrelated anecdotal stories into cohesive, if nonlinear, narratives. Beginning with his fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, he integrated his skills as a storyteller and sculptor by creating intimately observed worlds in miniature. For the past 15 years, he has taken these ideas, changed the scale, and extended the possibilities for site and a chaotic viewership by producing temporary and permanent public art, which has been described in various ways, from “urban earthworks” to “industrial baroque settees.”


Matthew Geller’s temporary and permanent public artworks purposefully use materials from our everyday outdoor environment—anything from benches, to swings, to canopies, to water pipes—and bring them into the realm of art. He creates a level of connection to the familiar while bringing in elements of awe and amusement. Often the sites and vernaculars he works with have been marginalized in some form: the controlled chaos of industrial infrastructure (Open Channel Flow, Chroma Booster, & Upper Blush), the abandoned limb of an amusement park ride (Greenway Blueway Byway Skyway, Nautical Swing & I ought to), or the aging tree in a public park (Woozy Blossom & Cypress Landing). He takes these abject artifacts and retrofits them to create a micro public square or landmark that encourages creative patterns of use.

His works are spirited, accessible, participatory, and very often unexpected. By considering behavioral design and combining strong visuals with dynamic elements that are activated by people and changes in ambient light and weather, the resulting work is in constant flux.


From Receiver to Remote Control: The TV Set [Amazon]
Difficulty Swallowing: A Medical Chronicle [Printed Matter]
1983 Engagements {Printed Matter]
1981 Engagements {Printed Matter]
Hidden in a Musty Chamber {Printed Matter]

Distributed by Electronics Arts Intermix
Everglades City
Bees & Thoroughbreds
Split Britches
In Case of Nuclear Attack
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