A Walk with Art: Mapping the Bronx
Portrait of the Artist

Matthew Jensen traverses the urban and natural landscape, collecting everyday objects. Hidden in plain sight, they reveal a sense of wonder. For the artist, these objects tell stories about our past and how we experience the world.

Matthew Jensen participated in Wave Hill’s Winter Workspace studio program in 2012, and was then selected to create an installation for the Sunroom Project Space the following year. His Sunroom Project, East Coast, West Coast, The Bronx, The Bronx, although not his first solo installation, allowed Jensen to formulate a structure for working on site-specific landscape projects that combine walking, collecting and photography as a way to craft work about place. In his project, for instance, he repurposed a discarded beehive he discovered at Wave Hill to build a case in which to display the objects he found in the gardens and woodland.

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Curator Gabriel de Guzman (left) and Matthew Jensen (right) at Jensen's Meet the Artist at Wave Hill, April 28, 2013.

East Coast, West Coast, The Bronx, The Bronx (2013)

A young visitor explores Matthew Jensen’s installation "East Coast, West Coast, The Bronx, The Bronx," during his Meet the Artist event, April, 2013.
Matthew Jensen, East Coast, West Coast, The Bronx, The Bronx (detail), 2012–13, photography and mixed-media installation, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.
Matthew Jensen, "East Coast, West Coast, The Bronx, The Bronx," 2012–13. Courtesy of the artist.
Matthew Jensen, East Coast, West Coast, The Bronx, The Bronx (detail), 2012–13. Courtesy of the artist.
Matthew Jensen, "East Coast, West Coast, The Bronx, The Bronx," 2012–13. Courtesy of the artist.
Matthew Jensen, East Coast, West Coast, The Bronx, The Bronx (detail), 2012–13. Courtesy of the artist.

Walk There, Matthew Jensen’s contribution to the fall 2017 anniversary exhibition Call & Response, relates to the artist’s experience in Wave Hill’s Winter Workspace residency (2012). During his residency, Jensen often walked to Wave Hill from the #1 train subway station at West 242nd Street and Van Cortland Park, or the Riverdale Metro-North Station; the artist is now offering this practice to visitors in the form of a take-away map, available as a PDF on Wave Hill's website and in print in the gallery. In tracing these paths to and from Wave Hill, Jensen combines information about significant historical landscapes―whether stately homes or an august tree―with his own narrative and experience along these particular routes. Jensen’s walking and mapping process recalls his 2013 Sunroom Project, East Coast, West Coast, The Bronx, The Bronx, in which the artist collected and displayed found objects from Wave Hill. Highlighting the sense of awe he experienced discovering these objects, and giving them an equal opportunity to be viewed regardless of their historical significance, Walk There extends this practice to Wave Hill’s visitors, providing a space for further interpretation.

Artist Work for Call & Response

Walk There

Matthew Jensen, Walking There, 2017, artist map, 11 x 17 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
Matthew Jensen, Walking There, 2017, artist map, 11 x 17 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

"Wave Hill’s curators are interested purely in the artists and their development, with little influence by the ‘market forces’ that often shape decisions even in the most respected non-profits."

—Matthew Jensen

Jensen's experience developing the project for Wave Hill has impacted work that he has subsequently made for the High Line and for a project at Montefiore Hospital, both in New York City. A public project that Jensen created at Brooklyn Bridge Park also grew out of his opportunity at Wave Hill. A solo exhibition he had at Third Streaming in 2013 featured work he developed for the Sunroom Project Space, and a 2017 solo show at the Visual Art Center of New Jersey is linked conceptually to work he did here. His photographs of glacial erratics from Pelham Bay is on long-term view at the headquarters of the Citizens Committee for New York City. Jensen was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2016. An artifact he found in Riverdale Park, adjacent to Wave Hill, was discussed in an article on Jensen by Ian Frazier in a July, 2012 article in The New Yorker and later included in his Sunroom Project.

Previous Work

Park Wonder

Matt Jensen, "Park Wonder,:" installation view, July 17, 2017. Visual Art Center of New Jersey.
Matt Jensen, "Park Wonder,:" installation view, July 17, 2017. Visual Art Center of New Jersey.
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