Manuel Mathieu is a 29th-year-old artist based in London who invokes Haiti’s political history as a springboard for his art and influenced by veterans like Sol Lewitt or Teresa Margolles.
Mathieu is a recent graduation from Goldsmiths in July. His résumé list group shows at the Grand Palais in Paris as well as the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, a solo outing at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London. Fatos Üstek—curator of the 2015 revival of fig 2 at the ICA, London and assistant curator of the 10th Gwangju Biennial–selected Mathieu from a pool of over 230 applicants to be featured at the ICA in the penultimate week of the fig 2 program this past December, marking him as an artist poised for success mid-way through his studies.
Mathieu’s approach to art is vast landscape of solitude and isolation.
Mathieu invokes Haiti’s political history as a springboard for his art. He was born in the year that the Haitian uprising brought the Duvalier era to an end, and he is named after the protagonist in Jacques Roumain’s 1941 Haitian classic novel Gouverneurs de la rosée, or Master of the Dew.
Mathieu next project includes being selected as one of the five artists for London’s 2016 Deptford X festival, where he was commissioned to create a work specific to the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. In a departure from painting, Mathieu will create his largest project to date, an installation consisting of flags suspended on wire, which continues to focus on solitude and exile.
Mathieu Goldsmiths degree presentation, titled “One Future,” explored the Duvalier’s dictatorships, which the artist categorizes as collateral damage of the Cold War. He incorporated images of his grandmother’s husband, a former colonel under Francois Duvalier, further underscoring the threats of terror and upheaval that resound throughout his practice.
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