Art and Its Spaces

Joanne Artman Gallery
Apr 7, 2017 4:51PM

The location where an artwork is installed is one of the most important considerations when the scale and material of the piece is determined. Artists whose works are meant to appear in a public or outdoor setting have to also consider the elements and issues that might affect the quality of the work over a prolonged period of time. Sometimes such considerations are a part of the artwork itself, if it is meant to transform over time, as it becomes a part of the natural landscape. Other times, the works are statements that provide a beautiful contrast between the elements of their setting and the materials of their making.

Matt Devine
Up, Up and Away
Joanne Artman Gallery

Matt Devine creates dynamic sculptures, which bridge the industrial and the organic, working in both large as well as small-scale. The works are harmonious, balanced compositions made from industrial materials such as steel, aluminum and bronze, which Devine shapes into gravity defying forms. The shapes translate easily from enclosed interior spaces, to outdoor or urban settings. The integrity of material and form is central to Devine’s work: by using the physical properties of the metals to their advantage, he highlights the monumental strength of the material. Finally, an industrial powder coat finish is used to highlight the elegant lines and structure of the works. Here, Devine sticks to classic, primary colors, echoing the preferred palette of the Modernists and Constructivists.

Walter De Maria,The Lightning Field,1977, Long-term installation, Quemado, New Mexico. (Image courtesy of Walter De Maria on Flickr and DIA Art Foundation.) One of the best-known land art/outdoor sculpture pieces. The field consists of 400 stainless steel poles, which echo the landscape of the field and react in a spectacular way during lightning storms.

Some of the best known sculptural works or projects are ones that were meant for outdoor, public spaces, changing the way in which visitors interacted with or perceived the environment. The medium of sculpture is inherently transformative of our perception of our surroundings - by having to navigate the space in which an artwork is installed we experience the work from multiple angles and vantage points. This cumulative experience is unique to each individual and reflective in its essence. Sculptures such as Devine’s, which both echo as well as provide a stark contrast to the natural world are an aesthetically and conceptually beautiful way to capture and remember the passing moment and the volatile impermanence of nature.

Matt Devine is represented at JoAnne Artman Gallery:   326 North Coast Hwy. Laguna Beach, CA 92651

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Joanne Artman Gallery