Anthracite coal was discovered in Pennsylvania’s Wyoming Valley in the late 1700s and was the region’s leading economy until the 1950s. Pennsylvania now has more than 250,000 acres of abandoned mine lands – higher than any other state. In this abandoned/manipulated landscape, Matt Colaizzo mines for inspiration, procuring the elements that make up his drawings and relief prints.
What is natural? What is unnatural? In Colaizzo’s graphic works, this distinction is blurred. Massive culm banks mirror peaks and valleys of rugged mountain ranges, abandoned collieries, quarry walls. Windswept vistas resemble moon-scapes or even stage sets in which we sit patiently waiting for act one to begin, only realizing, a short time after it already has.
Colaizzo’s compositions have a calming and contemplative effect on the viewer. His masterful use of material - paper, wood, metal and ink, exquisite color sense, and compositions with a strong emphasis on scale - all contribute to images of beauty and melancholy. It is in this mind state where one can truly consider life’s bigger questions. Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?