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Washington Post Magazine Highlights the Life, Work of Matthew Spiegelberg '05

Article tells the stories of nine people who 'touched so many others'

Posted 01.05.10 by MICA Media Relations

A talented student was in the midst of transforming his art--and himself 

Matthew Spiegelberg '05

The Sunday, Jan. 3 issue of the Washington Post Magazine features a cover story entitled Lives to Remember, Nine Stories, Nine Legacies, in which Matthew Spiegelberg '05 is memorialized with a touching story about his life and art, as well as several images of his work. Spiegelberg, who received his B.F.A. in painting from MICA, went on to Hunter College in New York to work on his M.F.A. beginning in 2007 and was killed on April 18, 2009, after falling between two subway cars in New York City.

The work that is left behind after Spiegelberg's death "described a remarkable view of the world," the Washington Post Magazine article states, calling the artist's work "splashy abstracts ... in colors so bright that they vibrate." "It was the vision of someone that a few people had known intimately and many had known only distantly: electric but controlled, complex but articulate, hard-won and unfinished."

"Even as graduate students go, Spiegelberg was unusually driven," the article says about the artist who grew up in Washington, D.C.

"He paints so emotionally imagery that you would expect was made by a machine," Hunter professor Joel Carreiro told the Washington Post Magazine. At the heart of Spiegelberg's work, Carreiro said, was the "gulf between two modes of expression: the long history of painting and ‘contemporary visual culture,' the digital images that swamp our everyday lives. ‘I think he was trying to find a way to make those two things meet, and find a way to actually get to sincere, earnest expression.' "

Paintings that Spiegelberg created while at Hunter are hung in a memorial show through Jan. 16 at Hunter's Times Square Gallery (450 W. 41st St., New York) as part of the MFA Thesis Exhibition Fall 2009.  If he were still alive, his work would be hanging on the walls of the gallery for the exhibition, and the students wanted to honor that and dedicate the whole front room of the show to Spiegelberg's works. 

Image of one of Matthew Spiegelberg's untitled paintings is courtesy of Kristin Trethewey. To see more of his paintings, click here.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 52 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.