Greely Myatt was born in Mississippi in 1952. His earliest experiences with art were intuitive, improvised with everyday materials, and well outside the auspices of an educational institution. These formative experiences continue to drive his art-making approach. He is the Sculpture Program Coordinator for the Department of Art at the University of Memphis. Myatt holds an MFA from the University of Mississippi, Oxford, and a BFA from Delta State University, Cleveland, Mississippi.
In a way Not Again?! is a homecoming for Greely Myatt. His second solo exhibition took place at the Masur in 1979. Since then he and the Masur have grown a great deal. Not Again?! is also a fitting metaphor for thinking about Myatt’s studio practice. He is interested in the cyclical nature of life and symbols. Myatt often gives found objects and well-worn cultural cues to new life while making art. His subject matter varies drastically from a painstakingly realistic depiction of an ice cream cone dropped mid-lick to an esoteric examination of how the Underground Railroad used quilt patterns to communicate in code. As a result viewing this exhibition is like life itself and runs the gamut from humor to tragedy; sometimes simultaneously (if you like ice cream). Specific subject matter aside, Myatt is most interested in communication as the theme within his work. He constructs art much like an author writes a sentence. In a sense, his materials provide a vocabulary and the means of fabrication becomes the punctuation that holds his work together; giving it a particular emphasis or sensibility. His titles often convey specific ideas about a work of art’s intended meaning, but as with most things, it is up for debate. When different elements of a particular work of art are examined, things can change.
Myatt has exhibited his art in many venues including the Alexandria Museum of Art, Alexandria, Louisiana; The Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, Georgia; Frist Art Center, Nashville, Tennessee; Hunter College, New York, New York; Honolulu Academy of Art, Honolulu, Hawaii; Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Boston, Massachusetts; Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, Tennessee; Portland Contemporary Art Center, Portland, Oregon; The Running Horse Contemporary Art Space, Beirut, Lebanon; The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.