Excerpt from the book: Think about the United States – A trip to Chicago
by Arnau Puig. (Philosopher and art critic) / Translated by Enrique Carlos Bocking
Once we finished breakfast, we went to the [Matt’s] cottage [in Wisconsin] and entered the painting workshop which Matt has in that place. The enormous, high, maroon wooden building had probably been a barn in its time and had large spaces inside. In one of them, the back left one, large, he had an immense freize. It was a real paint-colour uproar and set out therein in a gestural manner, although the observant eye could guess it told a story which undobtfully had a religious tone, but also had allusions to earthly, heaveanly, evangelical, sacred, profane subjects, all of which was a chromatic and figurative maremagnum which imposed and exhausted, left the observer amazed and restless, because he realized that a story was shown therein which wouldn’t be empty as far as content or impact was concerned. That immense freize, over two meters tall and perhaps fifty meters long, was undoubtfully not to illustrate or decorate a space, but for who is looking at it, for whomever is interested in its content and, as a last resort, after verifying that there was an intention in that painting, one could start the round all over again, only concentrating on the sets, pictorial assemblies and contrasts, submitting everything to the mere taste of an aesthetic conflict; it existed because that painting was made with a great gestural control, but with no rules related to theories about current tastes; unless that special way of needing to communicate is done with and through art.
Probably, that immense freize -and it seems so it was- had been a request, to be present inside a religious space. It is also possible that they’d given the artist some instructions regarding the subject. But once the artist took good notice of the request and the intention, the performance itself, being an artist, is absolutely free, radically independent, in what’s aesthetic and formal, if they have asked an artist, somebody who, when abandoned to his passion, painting, art, fully gets into his spiritual and performing faculties, or those concerning the fulfilment of his spirituality, of his concept of the world and his need to express it through the externalization and communication means he has chosen. And this is what we can see in Matt Lamb’s painting, that he’s possessed, in the most pure platonic sense: he paints because there’s a irrepressible impulse which makes him paint, that provokes the pictorial expression in him.