Project: Matthew Schrader
M. Obultra 3

March 23–May 15, 2021 Project

Press Release

White Columns is pleased to announce a solo presentation by Matthew Schrader. For this presentation Schrader will exhibit materials from a recent project M. Obultra 3 alongside related works.

Published in 2020, and curated by Aaron Gemmill, M. Obultra 3 is an editioned portfolio of new work by Schrader including a hand-printed woodcut, 7 photographs, a painted wooden object, 3 PVC transparencies, and Ailanthus seed pods. The project was born out of Schrader’s ongoing engagement with the Ailanthus tree, commonly known as the Tree Of Heaven. Ubiquitous in many American cities, including Philadelphia where Schrader was born and raised. Ailanthus altissima was introduced to North America by Philadelphian naturalist William Hamilton in 1784. Imported as a decorative plant, it is now considered an invasive species by the United States Department of Agriculture. According to Gemmill: “Schrader’s work is a synthesis of dual meanings of naturalization: how displaced species proliferate in new environments; and the technical and ideological process of rendering social structures invisible.”

For the presentation at White Columns, the work from M. Obultra 3 is activated and spatialized in relation to the specifics of the gallery architecture. Photographs from the edition are repeated across a wall forming a line, their spacing determined by the width of common 2×4 construction lumber that serves as the matrix for the woodblock print and as the primary material of the painted sculptures arranged in stacks on the floor. Ailanthus seeds collected in New York City are displayed in a vitrine.

To accompany the portfolio Schrader commissioned a new work by writer and poet Omar Berrada. Taking the form of a chapbook Berrada’s Clonal Hum is a poem sequence written in conversation with the portfolio. A virtual book launch will be held on April 27th, with readings by Berrada, poet Christian Campbell, author Saretta Morgan, and poet and artist Cecilia Vicuña.

Editions of M. Obultra 3 and copies of Clonal Hum are available for purchase at the gallery, and online at

Matthew Schrader (b.1984, Philadelphia) is an artist and educator based in New York City. He received an MFA in Sculpture from the Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts at Bard College and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Schrader’s work has appeared in exhibitions at Gertrude, The Abrons Art Center, MINI/Goethe-Institut Curatorial Residencies Ludlow 38, P!, U.S. Blues, Room East, MoMA PS1, Soloway Gallery, Carl Louie, Regina Rex, Cleopatra’s, 67 Steps, Metropolitan Structures and The Richmond Center for the Visual Arts at the University of Western Michigan. Schrader is a recipient of The Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant in New York City, and is currently teaching at The Cooper Union.

Éditions Michel Obultra is a publisher of artist editions and other objects. This project is run by the artist Aaron Gemmill and based in Philadelphia.

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