James Matson was born in Los Angeles California and grew up in Cooperstown, New York.

As an undergraduate in New York City, he studied business, along with Mandarin language and Chinese culture.

The landscape and scenery of upstate New York is the inspiration for his painting, and the methods of gesture he acquired learning Mandarin calligraphy influence his brush strokes.

After graduating college he worked in business administration for both Christie's and Sotheby's, the leading auction houses of fine art in New York City.

As a result of his exposure to the modern art market, James became influenced by the styles of the American Abstract Expressionist painters, including Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, and Barnett Newman. He seeks to combine each of these artists’ signature styles in order to create pictures that capture scenes and moods from his experience of America and upstate New York in the 21st Century.

Often depicting scenes that are reminiscent of natural water landscapes from the Catskill, Hudson Valley, and Central New York regions, he is currently applying the advanced post-war artistic style of American Abstract Expressionism to some of American Art history’s earliest subject matter: the landscapes of the Hudson River School.




Fine Art by the Lake, Fenimore Art Museum, August 2017

Fine Arts on the Lawn, Cooperstown Art Association, September 2017

Members Art Show, Fenimore Art Museum, October 2017

Open Call for Artists, Hyde Hall, June-October 2017

Holiday Art Show, Cooperstown Art Association, December 2017


LEAF Art + Poetry Contest, Cano Gallery & Fenimore Art Museum, April 2018

607- Emerging Artists from the Leatherstocking Region, Henry March Gallery, September-November 2018

Members Art Show, Fenimore Art Museum, October 2018


Black & White, Henry March Gallery, January – April 2019

Student Art Show, The Cooperstown Graduate Program, February-May 2019


The Painters Award (for best use of color), Fine Art by the Lake, Fenimore Art Museum, 2017

Art Historical Research:

The Irascibles & Advancing American Art, 2014

Casual China by Russel Wright, 2017

Art for African American Art’s Sake: The Acceptance of Abstract African American Art, 2018

Norman Lewis: The Posthumous Success of a Post-War Painter, 2018

Adolph Gottlieb: Adjusting the Canon of Abstract Expressionism, 2018

Louis Remy Mignot: Sources of the Susquehanna, 2018