Recently the OJAC acquired 37th Hour, a large and colorful painting by Brooklyn based (but Texas born) artist Matt Kleberg. I was curious about the title so I did some digging on my own, but came up short and even more perplexed. What I had considered as possibly inspired by Southern Gothic writings, or even a biblical code (as suggested by the internet), or simply an ironic or random phrase, actually turned out to be a very personal story. With Matt’s permission, here’s the inside scoop that inspired the title:
Matt Kleberg: "[37th Hour] was in a show in NYC last year. I was working on the paintings for that show while Liz (his wife)was pregnant and the show opened pretty soon after we had Waylon. The titles of the paintings all reflected the birth, and 37th Hour was in reference to the 37.5 hour long labor that Liz had, and the drawn out anticipation of it all. The meaning of the work for me, or at least the context that gives a painting a reason for being is always shifting. During Liz’s pregnancy, the empty niches in the work took on an expectant, anticipatory charge. They became about waiting and wondering about who this person coming into our lives was going to be. The paintings, in that regard, were 'pregnant spaces'."