Matthew Jensen’s work explores the way in which people experience and interact with the landscape. Each of his projects involves walking, extended observation, and site-specific exploration, particularly of public spaces. Taking into account the impact of technology on our understanding of space, Jensen engages with both physical and virtual landscapes. His final works often combine photography, installation and participatory action.
In the series The 49 States, Jensen plays with the history of landscape photography, utilizing Google Street View to conduct a virtual road trip of America. Choosing one image per state, and using only those in which the sun is shining directly into the camera, the resulting characterization of small town America signals a new understanding of landscape, which can be explored through the screen of a computer.
In a number of recent projects Jensen has created and distributed maps and conducted guided walks in order to extend the viewer’s experience beyond the walls of the gallery. In the exhibition The Wilmington Center for the Study of Local Landscape (2013), Jensen incorporated community participation, as participants contributed their own responses to the parks in the area, while also featuring discoveries made by Jensen throughout the Wilmington park system.
Born in 1980 in Connecticut, Matthew Jensen lives and works in New York. He received a BFA in political science and fine arts from Rice University, and a MFA in photography from the University of Connecticut. He is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow, a 2016 grant recipient of the Peter S. Reed Foundation, and he completed a MacDowell Fellowship in 2011. Jensen’s work is in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., among others. He is a part-time Assistant Professor of photography and studio art at Parsons/The New School, where he has taught since 2012. He has also held teaching positions at SUNY Purchase, George Washington University and the University of Connecticut.