Hans + Gieves
the Loop project
The Loop project is a collaboration between painter Hans Schmitt-Matzen and photographer Gieves Anderson. The works in the Loop series comprise a two-part cycle. We first select one of Gieves’ photographs to conceptually and formally influence the path of Hans’ painting. The combination of these photographic and painted elements amounts to a finished work that is the first part of the sequence. The initial works are given the designation “a” in the series titles. After the completion of the first phase, Gieves begins the second stage by converting the painting back into a photograph. The resulting photographic print then stimulates another painting that becomes the second phase and establishes a literal cycle of cause-and-effect relationships within and between the works. These consequential artworks are designated in the series titles as “b.” This closed system metaphorically suggests a reenactment of art’s history—in which all that is made is influenced by what existed previously.
the Tangent project
The Tangent series is Hans’ personal investigation of other aesthetic paths that Gieves’ original images might have traveled. With this series, Hans seeks to engender a web of causality more complex than the linear relationships recognizable in the Loop series. These works allow each cause to have more than one effect, broadening the scope of the overall artistic system to bring it more in synch with the causal complexity that exists in the world. The artworks interact with history by mimicking the way that it is formed.
Most of the photographs in these artworks were taken in libraries. We were attracted to libraries initially because these spaces are designed to foster contemplation. We discovered that libraries offer subtle, painterly aesthetics if one is willing to peer through the banality. When one lets one’s eyes pan across the rolling spines of books lining each shelf, it can be very similar to reading a ribbon-like paint stroke unfolding across a canvas. The manifestation of this “gestural” photographic language was the inspiration for much of the paint handling within the artworks.
The series title Cross-Reference borrows a library term to metaphorically imply that the mediums of photography and paint are indispensably linked within these artworks. Each medium makes citations to the other.
Hans Schmitt-Matzen and Gieves are two graduates of Middle Tennessee University (BFA's in Painting and Photography respectively) and have been very active on the local Nashville and regional scene. They see their work as a true collaboration as they introduce themes (Tangents and Loops) as individual artists, react to each other's ideas, and then mediate a final piece.