Matt Jensen

Degree(s): BA, Rice University, 2002; MFA, University of Connecticut, 2008

VADA Concentration: Studio

Rice Graduation Year: 2002

Born in Northeast Connecticut, whose small mill towns were the birthplace of the industrial revolution. The layers of history embedded in the landscape set the backdrop for many of my current works. I worked in national, state and city politics for four years after graduating--living in Washington, D.C., Iowa, Wisconsin and NYC. The phrase "conceptual landscape art" best describes the work I do. Landscape photography is a big component of my process but often the final works are not images. Each landscape series I develop uses landscape as metaphor and often involves recurring iconography: spruce trees, landscaped boulders, the sun, clouds, blue skies... Nearly all of my projects require a lengthy and repeated presence in a landscape; walking and exploring are integral to my process. The repetitive nature of my process lends to the seriality of each piece. Some projects and site-specific works have yielded collections of over 1,000 images. Currently, I am in the middle of a two-year work titled, Nowhere In Manhattan, a project that entails locating, exploring, documenting and eventually protecting, the last parcels of "nowhere" remaining in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Homage to the American Place is a three-year, participant-based work that will begin sometime this year. The online component of the piece launched a few weeks: aon-linew.jensen-projects/homage).