Nothing is Something: Matt Devine's Negative Space
Bending and welding ribbons of metal as though they were strokes of a paintbrush, Matt Devine treats the negative space within his sculptures with equal importance. Exploring the relationship of space and shadows throughout his works, Devine’s approach to creating new textures and forms allow light to permeate his sculptures and wall hangings. Through his strategic compositional arrangements and nuanced approach to sculpting, the resulting geometric configurations establish dramatic shadows and dimensionality. Interacting with the form, the cut outs and space lying between Matt Devine’s metal planes creates dynamic, sculptural curves.
Incorporating his training as a fabricator, Devine often utilizes leftover parts from previous sculptures as inspiration for a new form or series. Working in a continuous process where each sculpture flows into the next, Devine manipulates the hard metals as if it were a more pliable material. In his own signature, sculptural language, pared-down organic shapes are formed out of sheet metal and welded together in harmonious patterns, making the heavy metal appear as light as paper. These contrasts, plus the relationships of patterns and boundaries, address Devine’s desire to confront juxtapositions of chaos and order, open and closed, light and shadow.
Either Way #3, Aluminum with Ultramarine Powdercoat, 72” x 36” x 8”. JoAnne Artman Gallery
His linework sculptures anticipate movement as the openness of his structures reflect the ambient lighting of their surroundings. Depicting the dynamism of geometric forms cut at oblique angles, Devine represents both the physical composition and the shadow.
a x b #3, Aluminum with Yellow Powder Coat, 31” x 12” x 16”. JoAnne Artman Gallery
Providing an active encounter for viewers that is in a perpetual flux, the bouncing shadows established from the cutouts and negative space make observing the sculptures experiential. Dependent on the location of the light source throughout the day, and the viewer’s position relative to the sculpture, the shadow can provide a perfect mirror reflection of the piece, a distorted elongation, or dramatic foreshortening. Multiplying the various ideas of the sculpture and emphasizing its visual components and physical presence, the cast shadows enhance the complexity of shape and dimension.