Matthew Hansel
Inner Demon Delectatio

MHL 22 cropped



October 15th – December 5th, 2021

Opening: Friday, October 15th from 6–8pm

86 Walker Street, New York, NY 10013

The Hole is proud to present our second solo exhibition by Brooklyn-based painter, Matthew Hansel. In our Tribeca gallery Hansel exhibits fourteen new oil paintings depicting his most exotic menagerie yet.

For “Inner Demon Delectatio” Hansel mines his inner world of depravity and weirdness. Creating a grotesquerie along the lines of Hieronymous Bosch but scaled up to disrupt the cuteness of these monsters, Hansel depicts nudists, demons, cocktail parties, orgies, sea creatures, corpses and cheese—lots of cheese! In fact the rear room of the gallery is a bit of a cheese cave where the soft geometric forms pile like chiseled landscapes and have all manner of little demons crawling over them.

The works attract and repel in equal measure as they blend amazing oil painting skill with the irrational mind. Letting himself be seduced by his demons, Hansel creates artworks that allow us to safely contemplate things that normally scare or disgust us, like death and monsters, while also considering what is contemporary about these vintage uglies. In his own words:

Recently I had this experience when reexamining the work of Hieronymus Bosch. I had previously
categorized Bosch as one of the artists I left behind after removing posters of his work from the walls of
my childhood bedroom. It wasn’t until the unprecedented events of 2020 altered our world to such a
degree that I saw his work anew. It suddenly seemed as though his bifurcated worlds of heaven and hell
felt more like possibilities then illustrations. Bosch’s work seemed to be a perfect metaphor for this
moment and made me ask: why when confronted with one of his diptychs in which the work is evenly
split between the bountiful delights of heaven and chaotic misfortunes of hell, my eye continually
wandered back to the netherworld, constantly searching out the next act of cheeky depravity? Why was
I finding delight in the grotesque creatures who were meant to fill me with the anxiety of eternal
damnation? The miniature worlds conveyed a morbid splendor and frankly, the demons seemed to be
having a lot more fun.

As fans of beautiful oil painting we are immediately enraptured by the gorgeous colors and careful shadows, delicate blending and photographic accuracy. If we so choose, we can enjoy abandoning the coldness of classical beauty to indulge guilt-free in the allure of the repulsive.

Matthew Hansel (b. 1977) holds an MFA from Yale University and has shown at Brand New Gallery, Galerie Droste, PM/AM, Padre Gallery, Joshua Liner and many more, including his 2019 debut solo show at The Hole “Giving Up the Ghost.”

Email: for more available works
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MHL 27Matthew Hansel, And the Lovers Lie Abed with all Their Griefs in Their Arms, 2021. Oil on canvas, 70 x 92 inches, 178 x 234 cm.

MHL 26Matthew Hansel, Memory Foam Never Forgets the Fleeting Moments a Lover Regrets, 2021. Oil on canvas, 62 x 86 inches, 158 x 218 cm.

MHL 14Matthew Hansel, If You Can’t Be With The One You Love Then Love The One You’re With, 2021. Oil on canvas, 92 x 54 inches, 234 x 137 cm.

MHL 24 1500 cropMatthew Hansel, The Water’s Edge, 2021. Oil on canvas, 70 x 58 inches, 178 x 147 cm.

MHL 22 1500 cropMatthew Hansel, To Make Room For The Garden You Must First Burn The House, 2021. Oil on canvas, 70 x 58 inches, 178 x 147 cm.

MHL 25 1500 cropMatthew Hansel, We’ll Make Heaven A Place On Earth, 2021. Oil on canvas, 70 x 58 inches, 178 x 147 cm.

MHL 31 1500 cropMatthew Hansel, You Don’t Have To Go Home (But You Can’t Stay Here), 2021. Oil on canvas, 70 x 58 inches, 178 x 147 cm.

MHL 30Matthew Hansel, A World To Which We Belong But Cannot Enter, 2021. Oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches, 152 x 122 cm.

MHL 29Matthew Hansel, Content Is A Man Whose Pleasures Are Simple, 2021. Oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches, 152 x 122 cm.

MHL 21Matthew Hansel, That Which You Seek Rarely Comes in The Form You Expect, 2021. Oil on canvas, 60 x 48 iches, 152 x 122 cm.

MHL 20Matthew Hansel, The Soloist, 2020. Oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches, 152 x 122 cm.

MHL 23Matthew Hansel, We Are But Souls Who Dwell Within Our Dust, 2021. Oil on canvas, 52 x 42 inches, 132 x 107 cm.

MHL 28Matthew Hansel, Play On, Play On, My Truest Love, 2021. Oil on canvas, 36 x 28 inches, 91 x 71 cm.

MHL 16Matthew Hansel, The Morbid Delectatio, 2021. Oil on canvas, 32 x 26 inches, 81 x 66 cm.