Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture
BFA, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, at Auckland Institute of Technology, New Zealand
Matt Keegan Gallery Art
Fourth Estate, Brooklyn, NY
Altman Siegel, San Francisco, CA
Annette and Peter Nobel Collection, Zürich, Switzerland
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Matt Keegan is a conceptual artist known for his enigmatic combinations of design, photography, text, printmaking, and sculpture. Using stenciling and printmaking techniques, Keegan isolates idiomatic phrases—for instance, "it goes without saying" or "picture perfect"—and transforms them into art objects, calling attention to the materiality of language and its open-ended possibilities. An ardent archivist and amateur social historian, Keegan is fascinated by the dynamics of social spaces, especially cities.
In a 2011 exhibition of his work, titled I Apple NY, a magpie aggregation of snapshots, interviews, video, and found objects coalesced to form a composite "portrait" of New York City. For the show, Keegan riffed on Milton Glaser's iconic "I heart New York" logo, replacing the original heart with a big red apple. "I…like how it confuses the legibility," he says of the project: "What does it mean to apple something?" Likewise, for his book AMERICAMERICA (2008), Keegan traveled on a cross-country road trip inspired by "Hands Across America," a 1986 national fundraiser combatting homelessness. The book included ephemera from the original 1986 event and documentation of Keegan's recreation, as well as other materials related to the cultural, political, and artistic climate of the 1980s, drawing connections between the past and present. As the artist notes, the goal was not to create a definitive argument, but to pose the question "How did we get here?"
In addition to solo shows at several galleries, Keegan's work has been exhibited in notable group exhibitions internationally, including Short Stories at SculptureCenter (2011), The Anxiety of Photography at the Aspen Art Museum (2011), Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2010), and The Generational: Younger than Jesus at the New Museum (2009).