Private Collection, Ontario
John Matthews’ love for sculpture was solidified during his studies at the famed Arts Students League in New York City between 1964-66. Pursuing his passion fervently, Matthews took to bold measures in order to improve his craft. A letter that he penned to Henry Moore, asking if the he could offer his services to the artist, resulted in a tenure as Moore’s Assistant from 1966-67. It was the permanence of bronze that most appealed to Matthews. Rather than employ realistic shapes to convey his subject matter, Matthews parsed down forms to abstraction. He believed that this reduction would increase the viewer’s concentration on the thing itself. The organic shapes present in Georgian Bay and Sculpture in the Park (Georgian Bay) make the essence of the object visible. What we see before us are not simply sculpted trees. Formed into these objects is the wind which shifts their bows, the tensile strength of their trunks, and the earth into which they are rooted.