About the gallery

“We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time.” -T.S. Eliot


Founded in 2016 by director Ian Marcus Corbin, Matter & Light represents contemporary artists from around the world whose work is united by the exploration of profound spiritual questions in the medium of raw, visceral materiality. These works aim to leave the viewer with clearer eyes and a deeper appreciation for the strange, beautiful tensions of the human condition. The gallery also deals privately in work by like-minded, historically important artists like Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and Georges Rouault.


Trained as an academic philosopher, Corbin writes and publishes broadly on cultural matters, most regularly as a culture columnist for  the Spectator USA.

What others are saying about Matter & Light

Art New England: “One of SoWa’s newest galleries, Matter & Light Fine Art, assumes the art that matters most goes straight –without theory, irony, or decorum—to the raw, unruly heart of the human condition. Ian Marcus Corbin came to found Matter & Light in April 2016 by an unusual route. Corbin, who’s completing a dissertation at Boston College, teaches philosophy at Northeastern. He came to selling contemporary art by talking his way into a gallery on Newbury Street, where eventually he met an entrepreneur who offered to fund a partnership venture in Boston’s South End.

The gallery’s name reflects a reading of art (and hence, of humanity) as compounded of matter (the chthonic, of the gross earth) on one hand, and light (metaphysics, the spiritual) on the other. Many of Matter & Light’s sculptures and paintings display unrefined, deeply tactile surfaces, where clay, metal, wood or paint can become alchemical prima material, standing in for the primal matter of life.” Read the rest here . . .


Big Red & Shiny: “Within the [Matter & Light] roster, art world heavyweights garner as much attention and respect as greenhorns. Sam Messer and John Walker, whose collective works have graced some of the world’s most eminent museums and collections, show alongside rising talents like Aristotle Forrester and Iranian artist, Bahar Ejtemaei. Aesthetically, Corbin’s criterion for selecting a particular work is double-sided, a balance of kinetic and potential energy: “It needs to have that initial gut punch, but it also needs to stand up to some sustained scrutiny”. His other requirement is honesty: a work that does not compromise, skim over, or settle for an easy fix. When I press Corbin to summarize his taste, he tells me it’s tied up in a question: “Is the art being honest about what it’s like to be human or is it giving us cheap answers?” Read the rest here . . . 

Contact us


63 Thayer St, Boston, MA 02118


(857) 990-3931

Winter Hours: Thursday–Saturday 12 – 6, and by appointment

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