Nevil Matthews (Australia, 1930-2013)
SPP on card wood and aluminium
UTS Art Collection, transfer from Kurringgai College of Advanced Education, 1990
Nevil Matthews was born in Ayr, North Queensland, in 1930, and later studied at the Brisbane Central Technical College (1948–50). He became one of a group of young artists who gathered around influential painter Jon Molvig at his Kangaroo Point studio in the 1950s. Matthews later travelled to Sydney regularly to study with sculptor Clement Meadmore, and spent time working in London and travelling through Europe in the 1960s. In the late 1960s he tutored in the Architecture Department at UQ, and in the 1970s was lecturer in Painting at the Darling Downs Institute of Advanced Education (now Southern Queensland University).
Throughout his career as an artist, Matthews was influential in bringing the latest ideas on contemporary art to Queensland. From 1969-1972 he was vice-president of the Queensland Contemporary Art Society.
Vertical was one of a series of works featuring brightly coloured stripes and aluminium panels, rendering hard-edge abstract painting as bas-relief wall sculptures. They were exhibited in the Bonython Gallery in Sydney in May 1970, alongside equally bold and striking work by Ian Chandler and jewellery by David Dunne. James Gleeson’s review of the show for the Sunday Mail praised Matthews’ structured works as a ‘prodigious step forward’, and the clever use of perspective created using the wooden beading attached to the surface.
Matthews’ work is held in several regional collections, and he completed several commissions for Queensland Universities include a large coloured glass window at Mayne Hall, University of Queensland, and a major sculpture Genesis at Griffith University.