Art Term

Matter painting

Matter painting refers to the technique of using thick impasto paint into which other materials such as sand, mud, cement and shells have been added

Jean Dubuffet, ‘The Exemplary Life of the Soil (Texturology LXIII)’ 1958
Jean Dubuffet
The Exemplary Life of the Soil (Texturology LXIII) 1958
Tate
© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2017

The term appeared in the 1950s to describe the technique popularised by a group of Dutch and Belgian painters such as Bram Bogart, Jaap Wagemaker, Bert de Leeuw, René Guiette and Marc Mendelson. Its intention was to highlight the nature of painting and its materials.

selected artists in the collection