Matthew Towers received his B.F.A. in Theater from New York University and his M.F.A. in Ceramics from The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He is currently an Associate Professor of Ceramics at the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford in Connecticut. In the summer of 2012 Towers did a residency through the artists invite artists program at the Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana, and in the summer of 2000 he was an artist-in-residence at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana. In 2004 he received a grant from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. His work has been shown nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions such as Ceramics ‘97, Ceramics ‘99 , Ceramics 2001 and Ceramics 2005 (CT), White on White (MD), NCECA 2005 Clay National Exhibition (MD), Greenwich House Pottery (NYC), Pewabic Pottery (MI), The Elmhurst Art Museum, (IL), The Slater Memorial Museum (CT), The Archie Bray Foundation(MT), the Wexler Gallery (PA) and the Philadelphia Clay Studio (PA). He has also lectured at the University of Washington (WA), Sienna Heights University (MI), The University of Connecticut (CT), The University of Long Beach (CA), Rhode Island School of Design (RI), Alfred University (NY), Northern Arizona University (AZ) and the University of Alaska (AK). His work is in collections such as The Jingdezhen Museum of Ceramics (China), The Schein-Joseph International Museum of Ceramic Art, (NY), The Archie Bray Foundation (MT) and the Pfannebecker Collection (PA). His work is also featured in the books Sex Pots Eroticism in Ceramics by Paul Mathieu, Overseas Contemporary Ceramic Art Classics by Bai Ming and 500 Vases by Lark Books.
Towers’ ceramic vase recovers notions of identity through off-cuttings of sexual and biological form, twisting and merging them into abstracts that might residually refer to the pomp or decadence of 18th century ceramic design in a contemporary fashion. The “Catastasis” series particularly seeks to maintain the integrity of the vase as its base whilst exploring these notions, the choice of scale specifically chosen to mirror average human heigh. The flute or neck of the vase is twisted and braided in a close proximity to hair or contorted flesh — the threaded stems of this particular item flourishing in lush ringlets that Towers affixes to notions of male virility and an erotic lure.