A public garden & cultural center

Matthew Burcaw


Prickly, Tender and Steamy: Artists in the Hothouse 
Glyndor Gallery | April 8–May 18, 2014 

Matthew Burcaw draws inspiration from his surroundings to create organic environments in various mediums. Lithops, or “living stones,” figure prominently in Burcaw’s On the Hill. For this large, ink drawing, the artist has depicted a fragmented composition of the landscape in and around Wave Hill. Mixing plant imagery with scenes of the surrounding Bronx neighborhood, it situates the garden within the context of the city.

Greenhouses remind me of my childhood; there was a large greenhouse that my neighbors had, and I remember visiting it at age three or four. The humidity and smell of soil and fertilizer relaxes me. As a young adult, I became interested in succulent plants. They are odd, otherworldly looking things. [During the Winter Workspace,] the succulents were great to draw over a period of time. Some were just beginning to bud, then flower, and to sketch this process was wonderful. I later made block prints and large drawings of them.

I have had a long love for Lithops, which are also called Rhino Toes. These strange, humble plants do not look like much at first, but they go through an amazing transformation. Like a snake sheds its skin, Lithops sprout out from their center and shed their outer layer, which dries and peels away. When extremely content, they flower. I find them so wonderful that I incorporate them into much of my work. 

—Matthew Burcaw

Burcaw has worked as an artist, a curator and a teacher, and has exhibited work at venues throughout New York City, including Denise Bibro Fine Art’s Winter Salon, at the Bronx Museum of the Arts and at Artists Space, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Swing Space. He has participated in the Bronx Museum’s Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) program. Burcaw received both his MFA and BFA from Parsons The New School for Design.

On the Hill, 2012, ink on paper, 30 1/2” x 60.” Courtesy of the artist.

Winter Workspace 2012
Glyndor Gallery | January 3 – March 25, 2012


The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.