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Matthew Conradt and Lizbeth Mitty: Valley of Ashes

October 24, 2018 @ 5:00 pm – November 27, 2018 @ 6:00 pm
THE MUELLER GALLERY, Caldwell University
120 Bloomfield Ave
Caldwell, NJ 07006
Suzanne Baron

Matthew Conradt and Lizbeth Mitty: Valley of Event Flyer

Matthew Conradt and Lizbeth Mitty: Valley of Ashes

Oct. 24 – Nov. 27, 2018

Artist’s Talk: Wed. Oct. 24, 5-6pm

Opening Reception: Wed. Oct. 24, 6-8pm

“This is a valley of ashes – a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of ash-grey men, who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air. Occasionally a line of grey cars crawls along an invisible track, gives out a ghastly creak, and comes to rest, and immediately the ash-grey men swarm up with leaden spades and stir up an impenetrable cloud, which screens their obscure operations from your sight.”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

The Mueller Gallery at Caldwell University is pleased to present Valley of Ashes, a two-person exhibition featuring the work of Matthew Conradt and Lizbeth Mitty.  Conrad and Mitty create images which embody decay, entropy and dislocation.  While their creations are not overtly political, the work can serve as a metaphor for the most pressing and profound issues faced by our contemporary culture – issues of class and the distribution of wealth, the degradation of natural resources and wildlife and the threat of global warming.  The work calls into question our values as individuals and as a society.

This is poetic, soulful work – arrived at through very different means.  Lizbeth Mitty creates painterly encrusted surfaces using the motif of antique chandeliers, which serve as mordant symbols of better times.  Matthew Conradt conjures disorienting photo-transfer collages that depict images of deserted and decaying interior spaces and ghost-like human forms.