Archival Aesthetic: Art by Matthew Rangel

An installation view of a series of works on the Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada Codex, installation view

Matthew Rangel is a conceptual artist and illustrator based in New Mexico. In his artistic practice, Matthew draws on his experiences growing up between natural beauty and socioeconomic upheaval to inform a scientific, archival aesthetic.

A print work depicting an area of the sierra NevadaSierra Nevada Codex, Muro Blanco, etching and lithography


I really enjoy the field-sketch sensibility of Matthew’s works. Even when installed in a gallery space, the artist’s small, illustrative prints take on the appearance of pages from an antique book of scientific or naturalist drawings. In our last feature of Matthew’s artwork, we talked about the artist’s landscape interventions – works in which sketches and photographs of a given natural feature are drawn over, marked, or collaged in such a way as to turn them into something like archaeological notes.

A screen capture of Matthew Rangel's studio websiteThe front page of Matthew's portfolio website


In the context of the artist’s entire portfolio and background, these works reveal a piece of Matthew’s process, and hint at greater overarching ideas that the viewer is left to discover.

A small detail of a larger print work featuring imagery of fishTulare Lake (detail), archival digital pigment print

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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