Unconditional Love
Matthew Stone
Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School
Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School
Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School

To produce Unconditional Love (2014), London-based artist Matthew Stone (b. 1982) begins by hand-painting on glass and photographing the resulting compositions. These high-resolution details are then digitally intensified and retouched to remove subjective imperfections, such as dust and hairs. The paint is then printed onto veneered wooden panels, sheet acrylic and mirror. The resulting work employs photography and digital printing as part of an extended artistic process that furthers the visual and practical potential of paint, rather than as an objective or documentarian means to an end.

Almost offensively juicy and often steeped in visceral color, Stone’s work upturns the holy status of art history’s worship of “paint handling” and “brushwork” as untouchable cosmic flesh, whilst simultaneously and sincerely reasserting its living legacy of visceral and emotionally manipulative power. Stone’s paint gestures mimic the movements and colors of Renaissance painting and sculpture and suggest the punchy thrusts and flair of dancers in motion or joyful movement in general. Their genuine love of color and movement draw the viewer in and celebrate the eye and its joys in the realm of paint. While ostensibly resembling a scaling of the “masterful” brushwork of Motherwell or de Kooning, the final works, perhaps like Lichtenstein’s spoofy quoted strokes, live as flattened snapshots of captured and ephemeral moments. They are digitally composed gestures, flat and practically inert but imaginatively ecstatic.


About the collection

Gerald Schwartz believes the presence of provocative art promotes creative thinking, remembering that "artistic presence was the only thing missing at HBS when I went there. I wanted to change that." In 1995, Gerry Schwartz and a team from HBS together began purchasing contemporary art for the HBS buildings most frequented by students. Inspired by the growing collection, a small group of MBA students founded the HBS Art Appreciation Society in 2001. It quickly grew into one of the largest student clubs on campus, sponsoring events in Boston area galleries and museums, as well as an annual weekend in Manhattan to meet artists, tour exhibitions, and attend theater. The club's co-presidents accompany Mr. Schwartz on his annual buying trip to purchase additional art for the School's collection.

About Gerald Schwartz, MBA '70

Gerald Schwartz, MBA ’70, is the Founder and CEO of Onex Corporation. He has been appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada and inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. Gerry Schwartz is Vice Chairman and member of the Executive Committee of Mount Sinai Hospital, a director of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, a trustee of The Simon Wiesenthal Center and Chairman of its Canadian Friends, and a governor of Junior Achievement of Metro Toronto. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Manitoba, a Masters in Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School, and several Doctor of Laws (Hon.) degrees. He lives in Toronto with his wife, Heather Reisman, founder and CEO of Indigo Books and Music.