Matthew Angelo Harrison

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Matthew Angelo Harrison
EducationSchool of the Art Institute of Chicago

Matthew Angelo Harrison (born 1989) is an American artist living and working in Detroit, MI.[1] His work investigates analog and digital technologies to explore ancestry, authenticity, and the relationship between African culture and African-American culture.[2]

Life and work[edit]

Harrison was born in Detroit, Michigan, where he currently lives and works. After earning a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012, Harrison worked at Ford Motor Company prototyping clay models for cars and car parts.[3][4] His past work with machinery and industrial design continues to inform and inspire his artistic process today.[3] In his work, Harrison explores issues of race, design, mortality and industry by making use of various technologies. Inspired by the notion of an “abstract ancestry,” Harrison focuses on collecting relics and symbols of African American culture that can be re-contextualized or re-simulated.[5]

Bodies of Work

In his "Dark Silhouettes" series, Harrison “encapsulates” dissections of African tribal sculptures in subtly tinted resin blocks.[6] Some of the figures, heads and masks come from Makonde and Dogon tribes while others are of unknown origin. Harrison then slices through or burrows holes, with a CNC router, into some of the blocks producing unique forms and evoking diverse places and times.[7][8]

In his “Dark Povera” series, Harrison scans African artifacts and then reproduces them with his homemade low-resolution 3D printers.[9] In contrast to most 3D printers, which print with silicone and other strong synthetic plastics, Harrison’s hand-made printers utilize a wet clay, creating a finished product that is an imperfect, abstracted reproduction of the original artifact.[10][8]


Solo exhibitions

  • Field Station: Matthew Angelo Harrison, Broad Museum, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 2018[11]
  • 'Abstract Ancestry: Machine Works on Paper, University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities, Ann Arbor, MI, 2018[5]
  • 'Prototype of Dark Silhouettes, Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 2018[8]
  • Post Truth / The Lie That Tells the Truth, Culture Lab, Detroit, MI, 2017[12]
  • Dark Povera Part 1, Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA, 2017[2]
  • Detroit City/Detroit Affinities, curated by Jens Hoffmann, MOCAD, Detroit, MI, 2016[13]

Group exhibitions

  • Colored People Time: Quotidian Pasts, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 2019[14]
  • Landlord Colors: On Art, Economy, and Materiality, Cranbrook Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI, 2019[15]
  • Uncanny Valley, De Young Museum, San Francisco, CA, 2019
  • Kinship, Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 2018[16]
  • I Was Raised on the Internet, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2018[17]
  • At Large Part 2, Reyes Projects, Detroit, MI, 2018[18]
  • Songs for Sabotage, New Museum Triennial, New Museum, New York, NY, 2018[19]
  • The Everywhere Studio, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL, 2017[20]
  • Fictions, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY, 2017[21]
  • Sonic Rebellion: Music as Resistance, MOCAD, Detroit, MI, 2017[22]
  • Eric Schmid is an Idiot, curated by What Pipeline, CAVE Detroit, MI, 2017[23]
  • Take Me (I’m Yours), curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Jens Hoffmann and Kelly Taxter, Jewish Museum, New York, NY, 2016[24]
  • The Politics of Portraiture, Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 2016[25]
  • Ever get the feeling we’re not alone in this world?, What Pipeline, Detroit, MI, 2016[26]

Public collections[edit]

  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL[27]
  • Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI[28]
  • Galeries Lafayette Foundation - Fonds de dotation Famille Moulin, Paris[29]  
  • de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA[citation needed]
  • Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL[30]
  • Kadist, San Francisco/Paris[31]
  • Rennie Collection, Vancouver, B.C.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Whitney Biennial 2019".
  2. ^ a b Studio, Familiar. "Matthew Angelo Harrison". Atlanta Contemporary. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  3. ^ a b Monday, Maia Asshaq |; August 28; 2017. "Detroit sculptor Matthew Harrison explores identity through clay and machines". Model D. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  4. ^ "Matthew Angelo Harrison |  CV | Jessica Silverman Gallery". Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  5. ^ a b "Matthew Angelo Harrison: Abstract Ancestry | U-M LSA Institute for the Humanities". Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  6. ^ "Matthew Angelo Harrison at Jessica Silverman Gallery". Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  7. ^ "African spirits suspended in resin, culture at SF art gallery -". 2018-03-19. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  8. ^ a b c "Prototype of Dark Silhouettes | Jessica Silverman Gallery". Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  9. ^ "Matthew Angelo Harrison's 3-D Printed Sculptures Unmask Cultural Constructs". Observer. 2017-10-16. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  10. ^ "Review: Atlanta Contemporary offers a fresh, wry response to critique with Betbeze and Harrison". ARTS ATL. 2017-10-30. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  11. ^ "MSU Broad". msu broad. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  12. ^ "Post-Truth Detroit". Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  13. ^ "Detroit Affinities: Matthew Angelo Harrison". Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  14. ^ "Colored People Time: Quotidian Pasts - ICA Philadelphia". Institute of Contemporary Art - Philadelphia, PA. 2019-03-09. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  15. ^ "Landlord Colors: On Art, Economy, and Materiality". Cranbrook Art Museum. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  16. ^ "Kinship: Yoko Ono, Barbara Kasten, Judy Chicago, Mary Heilmann, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Amikam Toren, Suzanne Blank Redstone, John Waters, Ian Wallace, Donald Woodman, Catherine Wagner, Grayson Perry, Isaac Julien, Tammy Rae Carland, Susanne M. Winterling, Mickalene Thomas, Haegue Yang, Luke Butler, Nicole Wermers, Julian Hoeber, Hank Willis Thomas, Matt Lipps, John Houck, Christopher Badger, N Dash, Davina Semo, Sean Raspet, Heather Rasmussen, Hayal Pozanti, Ruairiadh O'Connell, Dashiell Manley, Margo Wolowiec, Hugh Scott Douglas, Matthew Angelo Harrison, Woody De Othello | Jessica Silverman Gallery". Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  17. ^ "I Was Raised on the Internet". MCA. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  18. ^ "Reyes Finn | At Large". Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  19. ^ "2018 Triennial: Songs for Sabotage". Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  20. ^ "The Everywhere Studio". Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  21. ^ "Fictions | The Studio Museum in Harlem | Artsy". Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  22. ^ "SONIC REBELLION: MUSIC AS RESISTANCE". Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  23. ^ "What Pipeline". Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  24. ^ "Take Me (I'm Yours)". The Jewish Museum. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  25. ^ "The Politics of Portraiture | Jessica Silverman Gallery". Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  26. ^ "Ever get the feeling we're not alone in this world? at What Pipeline – Art Viewer". Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  27. ^ "Matthew Angelo Harrison, Dark Silhouette: Forward Gaze, 2018". MCA. Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  28. ^ "Broad Art Museum | MSU". Retrieved 2019-04-05.
  29. ^ "Collection". Lafayette Anticipations. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  30. ^ "The Everywhere Studio". Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. Retrieved 2019-04-08.
  31. ^ "San Francisco – Kadist". Retrieved 2019-04-08.