Matt Crookshank fever-fervour-LR.jpg


Matt Crookshank received his BFA in 1998 from Queens University. Crookshank has since developed several lines of simultaneous practice, bridging abstract painting, digital animation, and collaborative performance. In 2008, Matt attended Janice Kerbel’s Banff Center residency Cosmic Ray Research where he founded a six-artist collective called Unconstrained Growth Into The Void. The collective exhibited in Banff, Toronto and Mexico and included artists: Matt Crookshank, Rafael Rodriguez Cruz, Miruna Dragan, Jason De Haan, Erika Kiruff and Meghann Repenhoff. In 2012 Crookshank cofounded the collective Dark Triangle with Ulysses Castellanos and Zorica Vasic in an abandoned Toronto mansion. They exhibited in Oaxaca Mexico, Düsseldorf Germany and withGeorgia Scherman Projects in Toronto in 2015. Matt is rumoured to be behind the experimental pop group Awesome Cheesecake which performed live at Nuit Blanche 2015, curated by Earl Miller. Crookshank has exhibited in London, Los Angeles, Switzerland, Mexico, Toronto and across Canada. His experimental digital and video work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Crookshank is currently the lead VFX artist on the Emmy winning television show Odd Squad being produced for PBS.

Crookshank has received recognition for his work by The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Toronto Star, Canadian Art Magazine and NOW Magazine. His paintings were featured in the 60 Painters exhibition in Canada and included in Carte Blanche Painting 2, a survey of new Canadian painting published and juried by The Magenta Foundation. 

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“Not so much “eye candy” as “eye drugs”, they are psychedelic without the trappings of peace and love, false dicta that get in the way of pure expression. To quote Lester Bangs, “let it blurt” (and I mean that, as he did, in the best possible way).”
—Terence Dick, Art Critic, Akimbo, 2012

“Canadian painter Matt Crookshank isn’t afraid to fail. In fact, his no-holds-barred, confrontational approach is what results in the wild hits and misses that make his abstracts so bold and unusual.”
—David Jager, Art Critic, Now Magazine, 2012

“The elemental gives these works a vital force, while titles suggest alternative meteorologies, giving visual form to all manner of ‘Unlikely Event,’ a hurricane in a Petridish, a tsunami in the gallery.”
—Kate Morris, Art Critic, Toronto is Awesome, 2012

“Matt Crookshank’s gleeful recklessness… utterly gonzo paint on paint on paint abstracts… revel in the accidental and the alchemical. Crookshank is a master of mixing different types of paint to create unholy crackling and bubbling effects.”
—RM Vaughan, Canadian art critic, The Globe and Mail, 2012

“Matt Crookshank’s work doesn’t look like anyone else. There’s a dynamism, a space in the work, so that there are actually areas of repose. You can both appreciate the vigour and … there’s [also] a contemplative quality to them that also relates to the idea of them being galactic.”
—Barbara Isherwood, host, ArtSync, 2012

“Matt Crookshank is one of the most important painters in contemporary Canadian art— he delves into paint fearlessly, paints with remarkable gusto and leaves the viewer thirsty for more.”
—Nadja Sayej, host, ArtStars* , 2010

“Matt Crookshank maps out a kaleidoscopic, jewel-toned virtual universe in his digital paintings.”
—Bryne McLaughlin, Canadian Art magazine, 2008

“The works of Matt Crookshank are not simply pretty pictures but rather a visual expunging of the manifold ideas that rattle around the artist’s skull.”
—Travis Reynolds, art critic, Swerve Magazine, 2006

“Matt Crookshank’s work…appears to have been painted on a dare. Forget all the rules about harmonious use of colour or balanced composition, these paintings look like birthday cakes attacked by jack hammers. His flamboyant, happy disasters demonstrate by contrast how bland and predictable most contemporary abstraction has become.”
—RM Vaughan, Canadian art critic, The National Post, 2005

Review by Vanessa Zeoli