Matheny is known for his expansive work in a wide variety of disciplines and mediums, including graphic design, sculpture, small press printing, painting, writing, photography, curating and performance.
His work is grounded in modernist design — with a healthy dose of Dada irreverence and Duchampian hijinks.
“Matheny’s diverse, often idiosyncratic body of work resists categorization and defies expectations, and distinguishes him as a truly unique and significant artistic voice in San Diego and beyond,” said Kaytie Johnson, curator of the exhibition.
“The history center is thrilled to present this long overdue survey of Bob’s life and career, which recognizes his broad influence as both an artist and teacher, and celebrates his significant – yet under-recognized – contributions to San Diego’s art community,” Johnson added.
The 89-year-old artist is also known for his pioneering role as an art educator in the San Diego region. In the early 1960s he was the first full-time art instructor at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, a position he held for three decades.
Presenting key works from his six-decade career, “Bob Matheny: Almost Anonymous” showcases the artist’s prolific output and honors his pioneering contributions to San Diego’s art community. Many of the works in the exhibition have never been on public view.
Matheny earned an masters degree in art education from Long Beach State College and worked as a graphic designer for the Convair Astronautics Division of General Dynamics before beginning his art instruction career at Southwestern College. Since retiring from Southwestern in 1991, Matheny has maintained an active art practice and regularly exhibits his work.
In 2018, Matheny received the San Diego Art Prize, an annual honor awarded by the San Diego Visual Arts Network for excellence in the visual arts.
The history center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Matheny exhibition will continue through March 24.
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