Installation view of Matlok Griffith’s work on display as part of the <em>Melbourne Now</em> exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne from 24 March – 20 August 2023. Image: Sean Fennessy

Matlok Griffiths

Matlok Griffiths
(b. 1983, Perth, Western Australia. Lives and works in Melbourne)

Matlok Griffiths works across painting, sculpture, drawing and printmaking. The mid-career artist’s process-centred and often diaristic practice employs wideranging materials and media, including bronze, ceramics and works on paper.

Griffiths’s suite of forty-four monotypes, Mumbles & Clunks, 2018, was acquired by the NGV in 2020. Made over six weeks when Griffiths had access to another artist’s printing press, his journal drawings became the starting point for several compositions, as well as lists of words lifted from newspaper crosswords (which also influenced his 2021 painting series, Yesterday’s Solutions). Every day, personal inspirations are refigured, abstracted and transformed through techniques of repetition and variation, progressing in a serial format across sequential plates. The resulting images, at once spare and bold, bear material traces of the artist’s ever-evolving process. Printmaking may be a new direction for Griffiths, but Mumbles & Clunks encapsulates his unique style and resonates with his previous sculptural works. The series also reveals echoes of some of his formative artistic influences, including the work of Philip Guston and Henri Matisse’s cut-outs.

Griffiths’s work has been shown in numerous group and individual exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and New Zealand, with recent solo shows at Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney, and Reading‑Room, Melbourne. His work is the subject of three publications: Mumbles & Clunks (co-published by Darren Knight Gallery and ReadingRoom, 2019), Buffoon Seeks Pleasure (Darren Knight Gallery, 2016) and Comfort Room Forms (PubPublishing, 2015). In 2017 he undertook a four-month visit to the United States for a mentorship with the American artist Stanley Whitney, funded by the Australia Council for the Arts. Griffiths won the Agendo Emerging Artist Prize in 2013, which he was also a finalist for in 2011, and was a finalist for the Metro Painting Prize in 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Visual Communications from Curtin University (2006) and a Graduate Diploma in Visual Arts Education from Australian Catholic University (2012). Griffiths’s work is held in private collections in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.