John Matthew Heard

*1987, New York, NY. Lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Hanging his paintings in elaborate frames, employing audioguides and a surplus of caption cards, John Matthew Heard’s recent work plays with the potential of institutional overdetermination and the myths of fact and fiction. Coupling images and language he renders the simplest description or categorisation both inalienable and comically absurd.

John Matthew Heard studied at Oberlin College and graduated from CalArts in 2010. He also studied with Michael Krebber, Josef Strau and Haegue Yang at Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. His audio/visual installation Paintings for the Blind and Dyslexic won the Städelschule graduation prize 2018.


John Matthew Heard, Shaggy Blonde Hair, 2019. Ink on canvas, wood frame, custom fruit stickers under glass, 80 x 60 x 3,5 cm. Photo: artist impression


John Matthew Heard, Figure with two bags VII, 2019 (recto). Paint on canvas, 130 x 90 cm. Photo: Julie Becquart


John Matthew Heard, Figure with two bags VII, 2019 (verso). Paint on canvas, 130 x 90 cm. Photo: Julie Becquart


John Matthew Heard, Figure with two bags VI, 2019 (recto). Paint on canvas, 130 x 90 cm. Photo: Julie Becquart


John Matthew Heard, Figure with two bags VI, 2019 (verso). Paint on canvas, 130 x 90 cm. Photo: Julie Becquart


John Matthew Heard, Figure with two bags V, 2019 (recto). Paint on canvas, 130 x 90 cm. Photo: Julie Becquart


John Matthew Heard, Figure with two bags V, 2019 (verso). Paint on canvas, 130 x 90 cm. Photo: Julie Becquart


John Matthew Heard, Figure with two bags IV, 2019 (recto). Paint on canvas, 130 x 90 cm. Photo: Julie Becquart


John Matthew Heard, Figure with two bags IV, 2019 (verso). Paint on canvas, 130 x 90 cm. Photo: Julie Becquart