"McConnell’s show hits every mark"

"Each object is remarkable, sculpturally convincing, self-standing, independent, without a runt in the litter. And the more I come back to his art, the more it grows.

"Then, he takes on another black hole in the arts: appropriation... Again, he does this with genius... And while I shouldn’t say it because it will bring the ancients down from the mountains with pitchforks, I actually prefer his Rocking Pot to that of Voulkos while recognizing the latter’s preeminence."

"His conceptualism arrives at that rare mix of an intuitive sensualist with a powerful command of material. This is probably my favorite combination in art: intelligence that does not overburden the objects’ autonomy. Indeed, if I found a work alone with no knowledge of McConnell’s practice, the visceral sculptor’s bite would be as strong."

"In case you have not felt my enthusiasm, allow me to be clearer: This show is the one to beat for our exhibition of the year award."

Garth Clark, CFile.daily, February 2016
Link to full article here.


"As with all good artists, McConnell's practice is interesting not because he spells something out. He doesn't. Rather it is that McConnell's work deliberately communicates to a trait inherent in each of us at some level or at some time in our lives. Simi­lar to the mimetic way in which we all learn at a fundamental level, by creat­ing facsimiles of works of other artists and makers using his trained hands, McConnell's installations seek to find something new through making and then grouping "his" objects. What he is seeking is not the perfect copy but that almost alchemical moment of dis­covery and learning, when something new happens."

Matt Blomeley, New Ceramics, November 2016
Link to full article here.


"As a collector of social references and pre-existing visual material, Mathew McConnell is an artist who views contemporary culture as a resource for new aesthetic propositions. The harvesting, assembling, and curation of images is as important to his process as the creation of his work. Although his use of technology often employs the techniques of cooptation, appropriation, and fragmentation, he has no interest in parody, kitsch or self-conscious irony; instead, he focuses on what lies beyond these categories. He is fascinated with the way the Internet transforms ideas of identity, social connection, and the nature of memory, specifically focusing on the way certain contexts affect the perception of art objects. His work plays with diverse art historical moments, using different notions of what sculpture can, can’t, or should do. What interests him is form combined with his own varied techniques for dealing with fabrication, content, and information. He makes visual objects that defy any notions of taste or aesthetics; he is not so much making things as referencing them. Although his work deals with kitsch, he doesn’t resort to irony; his work questions definitions of authorship, originality, art, and creativity. The questions he asks are underscored by a practice that interrogates history and involves collaboration with viewers and other artists."

Kathleen Whitney, Ceramics Monthly, November 2015
Link to full article here. 


"What it Means to Move is McConnell's latest endeavor derived from his intuitive studio practices. He constructs and assembles a multitude of re-imagined objects that are first identified from endlessly accessible contemporary art blogs, websites, exhibition visits, books, and periodicals. McConnell creates a new, tranquil vision by unifying this plethora of items through a single color, pedestal and style, softening the electricity between relational objects while simultaneously strengthening their connections. In mass, the abundance of information sourced by McConnell is relaxed, leaving questions of ownership, sampling, and authenticity to fade into the distance."

 Jason Hackett, curator of "Out of Necessity: Contemporary Ceramic Interventions" 
 

"The elongated installation and presentation of What it Means to Move allows its diverse visual components to act like a segueing flow of discordant information. Thus, questions about the relationships between the individual elements are sure to playfully arise as viewers make their way from one end of the display to the other. Somewhat like surfing the web, one is able to navigate the work's apparently random visual information. What it Means to Move conveys a palpable level of currency, especially considering contemporary society's over-infatuation with the digital and its vast, arbitrary flows of data and images."

Owen Duffy, Ceramics Monthly, February 2014
 

"The most striking works are those of Mathew McConnell and Sin-ying Ho. McConnell's ambitious What it Means to Move (2013), are rough-hewn, exaggerating their manufacture while creating emotional distance. The colour and density of the arrangement are indicative of anguish, apparently the result of a struggle between creation and creativity. As McConnell explores the line between authorship and simulation, his work is the inevitable reciprocity."

Adam Welch, Ceramics Art and Perception, Issue 97 (2014)


"...McConnell approaches the opposite shore of a gulf of nuances separating artistic theft and inspiration. The objects do, indeed, convey a sense of inevitability and gravitas that seems to confirm their wholly original inception, and the idea of theft, if not for its incessant underscoring in Mathew McConnell’s previous works, would be as far from the viewer’s thoughts as when confronting any other art that seems to assert unequivocally the human capacity for originality. "

Glen Brown, Ceramics Art and Perception, Issue 96 (2014)
Link to full article here.