Matthew Shlian

 Matthew Shlian<!  Biography  >


American, b. 1980
As a paper engineer, my work is rooted in print media, book arts and commercial design. Beginning with an initial fold, a single action causes a transfer of energy to subsequent folds, which ultimately manifest in drawing and three dimensional forms. I use my engineering skills to create kinetic sculpture which have led to collaborations with scientists at University of Michigan. We work on the nanoscale, translating paper structures to micro folds. Our investigations extend to visualizing cellular division and solar cell development. Researchers see paper engineering as a metaphor for scientific principles; I see their inquiry as a basis for artistic inspiration. In my studio I am a collaborator, explorer and inventor. I begin with a system of folding and at a particular moment the material takes over. Guided by wonder, my work is made because I cannot visualize its final realization; in this way I come to understanding through curiosity.


2006       Cranbrook Academy, Bloomfield Hills, MI – Master of Fine Arts
2002       New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, NY – Bachelor of Fine Arts



“Telemetry”, Florida Gulf Coast University, For Myers, FL


“Chirality”, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
Thomas Riley Studio, Naples, FL


“Telemetry”, Michael Warren Contemporary Gallery, Denver, CO


“Recent Works In Paper”, Haystack Gallery, Deer Isle, ME
“Apophenia”, Diboll Gallery, Loyola University, New Orleans, LA


Cranbrook Kingswood Gallery, Bloomfield Hills, MI



Spatial Acuity, Madison Gallery, San Diego, CA


“Art + Design”, Thomas Riley Studio, Naples, FL
“Matthew Shlian & Harley Valentine”, Thimas Riley Studio, Naples, FL


“25th Anniversary”, Dennos Museum, Traverse City, MI
“Cut up / Cut Out”, Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA
“2016 Paper Biennial Rijswijk”, Rijswijk Museum, Netherlands


“Refractive”, Ann Arbor Center, Ann Arbor, MI
“Flipbook Show”, Carrack Modern Art, Durham, NC
“Spring Show”, Thomas Riley Studio, Naples, FL
“Rock Paper Scissors”, 330g Gallery, Saskatoon Sakatchewan, Canada


“Surface to Structure: Folded Forms”, Cooper Union, New York, NY
“Stacked and Folded”, Dennos Museum, Traverse City, MI
“Pulp Culture: Paper is the Medium”, Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ
“Paper-made”, Jamestown Art Center, Jamestown, RI
“Paper”, Michael Warren Contemporary, Denver, CO
“Materials”, SCIN Gallery, London, UK
“Burst”, CES Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA
“Fold, Paper, Scissors”, MESA Contemporary Arts Museum, Mesa, AZ
“Black and White”, LIGHT +ART DESIGN, Chapel Hill, NC
“Making paper dance: the art of pop up books”, Dennos Museum, Traverse City, MI


“Pulp Culture”, Art Center Sarasota, FL
“Creased”, Kinokuniya Bookstore, New York, NY
“Art Bodensee”, Victor Lope, Austria
“OFF Art Fair”, Victor Lope, Brussels
“Peaked”, Craftland Gallery, Providence, RI
“Surface”, CES Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA
“Crease Fold and Bend”, Lafayette College, PA
“Unpredictable Paperworks”, Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA
“Paper”, MONA Gallery, Charlotte, NC
“Paper”, Victor Lope Gallery, Barcelona, Spain
“2nd Annual Penland Artists”, LIGHT +ART DESIGN, Chapel Hill, NC
“Penland Auction”, Penland, NC


“Ghostly: of art and artifice”, Art Directors Club, New York, NY
“Born of Folding”, Jaffe Center for Book Arts, Florida
“Popierukas”, FOUR ARTS, Lithuania
“Material Assumptions: Paper as Dialogue”, Center for Book and Paper Arts, Columbia College, Chicago, IL
“Proportion Scale”, Butter Projects, Royal Oak, MI
“Carbed Complexities”, Nucleus Gallery, Alhambra, CA
“Spatial Shift”, Gallery Project, Ann Arbor, MI


“Paperwork in #D”, Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VT
“Thinking Outside the Box”, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI
“Turned Pages”, Bridge Gallery, Chicago, IL
“Digital Mettle: Jewelry and Objects of CAD”, National Ornamental Metal Museum, Memphis, TN
“Papier Machete”, Gallery 5, Richmond, VA


“Americans 2010: Paperworks”, Minot State University, ND
“Start.Stop.Repeat”, Anton Art Center, Mount Clemens, MI
“Macro, Micro”, Marygrove College, Detroit, MI
“The Art of the Artist’s Book”, Oakland University Art Gallery, Rochester, MI
“Touch Point: The Haptic Exchange Between Digits”, Co-Chair, Siggraph Conference, Los Angeles, CA


“Make/shift”, Kansas State University, KS
“Landscape and Memory, Gallery Project, Ann Arbor, MI
“Artprize”, Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MI
“Scissors: Pop up”, Florida Craftsman, St. Petersburg FL
“50 artists 50 states 50 mediums”, Eclipse Gallery, Algoma, WI


“Geometrically Defined”, Ann Arbor Art Center, Ann Arbor, MI
“Saving the World one Molecule at a Time”, Presentation and Interactive Discussion with Max Shtein, Chicago Humanities Festival, Chicago, IL
Artist in Residence & Show, Siggraph, Los Angeles, CA
“Surface”, Gallery Project, Ann Arbor, MI


“Misfold”, Gallery One, Ann Arbor, MI
“Detroit Symphony Presents Artworks 2”, Detroit, MI
“Architecture/Structure in Contemporary Craft”, Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, MA
“Artworks 2”, Anton Art Center, Mount Clemens, MI
“About the Book”, Anton Art Center, Mount Clemens, MI
“The Studio and the Lab”, WORK Gallery Ann Arbor, MI
“Moving Walls”, MONA, Pontiac, MI
“Art Walkerville”, Refine Studio, Windsor, Canada


“Connections”, Washington Street Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI
“Birmingham Place Art Exhibition”, Birmingham, MI
“Science Fair Show”, The Forum Gallery, MI
“Annual Art Auction and Exhibit”, Cranbrook, MI
“Cranbrook Film Festival”, DeSalle Auditorium, Bloomfield Hills, MI
“Summer Show”, Cranbrook Art Museum, MI
“Daimler Chrysler Artist Exhibit”, Daimler Chrysler, Farmington Hills, MI
“Heads or Heads? Genetic Imprint”, Southern Graphics Print Portfolio Exchange, Madison, WI
“MFA Thesis Show”, Cranbrook Art Museum, MI
“Nature re: Perceived”, Gallery Project, Ann Arbor, MI
“Remnants from Passage”, Work Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI

2005 & Earlier

“Detroit Symphony Paper Installation”, Detroit, MI
“Annual Art Auction and Exhibit”, Cranbrook, MI
“The Artists formerly known as Prints”, The Forum Gallery, MI
“Detroit Music Festival”, C-POP Gallery, MI
“The Drawing Collective”, The Forum Gallery, MI
“Cranbrook Film Festival”, DeSalle Auditorium, Bloomfield Hills, MI
“Meditations on Movement”, Museum of New Art, Pontiac, MI
“Actual Size”, CAID Detroit, MI
“Teach Me”, with Cranbrook Design, Venice, Italy
“Minute (Wo)Man Show”, The Forum Gallery, MI
“Metro Times 25th Anniversary Silent Auction”, Detroit, MI
“Print/Media”, The Forum Gallery, MI
“Haystack Show and Charity Auction”, Deer Isle, ME
“Vinyl Killers 3”, Zeitgeist Gallery, Portland, OR
“BMX Stunt Spectacular”, The Forum Gallery, MI
“An Open Book”, Cuyahoga Community College, OH
“Imagine That”, Book Arts Show, La Jolla, CA
“Vinyl Killers 2”, Zeitgeist Gallery, Portland, OR
“See Explosion View”, Washington, DC
“The Interventionists”, MassMoCa, North Adams, MA
“Overspray Art Exhibit”, Berlin, Germany
“Pulp: Artist Book Exhibit”, ADA Gallery, Richmond, VA
“Process Invisible”, The Goodfoot, Portland, OR
“Vinyl Killers”, Zeitgeist Gallery, Portland, OR
“Alternative Drawing”, Davies Buildings, Wellsville, NY
“Bachelor of Fine Art Exhibit”, Harder Hall, Alfred University, NY
“Matt Shlian vs. Matt Harding”, Robert Turner Gallery, Alfred, NY
“Ceramics Exhibit”, Rhodes Room, Alfred, NY
“Foundations”, Harder Hall, Alfred, NY


BBDO Detroit
Claudia Vick Associates
Cynthia Reeves Gallery
Detroit Institute of Art
Ecodoc Medical Supplies
Ghostly International
Grafik Magazine
Herman Miller
Lark Publishing
Leo Burnett
Schoolmap Records
Sesame Street
Structural Graphics
The Queen of Jordan
United States Mint
University of Michigan Material Science Department
Up with Paper
Warp Records
Weiden + Kennedy


The gallery is not accepting any unsolicited submissions at this time