Screenprints by Matthew Hopson-Walker – Printmaking Showcase Gallery
“Unearned Optimism,” an exhibition of screenprints by Mathew Hopson-Walker is on view from February 7 – March 30, 2023 at the Printmaking Showcase Gallery. The gallery is located on the second floor of the UT Knoxville Art and Architecture Building in the west wing.
Raised in Fresno, California, Matthew Hopson-Walker is an assistant professor in printmaking at Fresno State University. He received his MFA from the University of Iowa in 2003.
Matthew Hopson-Walker’s work is based on investigating himself in the context of American popular culture. His work records and documents specific times and places, suggests the selfish motives that lurk beneath socially acceptable behavior, and references the surface qualities and rich graphic aesthetic in the history of printmaking. Raised to admire a strong work ethic and regard growth and excess as markers of success, sprawling industrial agriculture and its accompanying evils [ills] were omnipresent. In the Central Valley region of California unlimited growing potential was paired with the ever-present threat of drug and gang violence. His home (Fresno) county produced 80% of America’s table wine and 80% of its crystal meth. He lived in a rural area plagued by urban problems. These daily experiences were set against a backdrop of fictional landscapes like Blade Runner, Mad Max, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Three Stooges, and accompanied by a Punk and Heavy Metal soundtrack.