Scaled Up: Matt Devine and America Martin
Artists who create sculptural works on a large scale have to take into account the body, movement, and the relationship between the work and the environment in which it is placed. Whether flowing or linear, to appreciate fully such works must be seen from all angles, traversed and examined in situ. The process of creating works in this range offers new challenges of material and spatial considerations as well as the opportunity to test scale of production. Artists Matt Devine and America Martin who create work of various scope, produce large-scale sculptures as an extension of their practice, with scale and spatial concerns informing the formal considerations.
Order, simplicity, truth and harmony are some of the basic premises of minimalist sculpture. Although the powder coated aluminum and steel sculptures of Matt Devine feel too much alive to fall under the minimalist label, they very much exhibit many of these qualities. There is a harmony line that is echoed throughout his varied practice. Whether working in large or small scale, Devine manages to convey the duality of both quiet stillness as well as constant flux in compositions that echo patterns of oscillation and random variation. InWhere Will This Lead #2 Devine shows this duality through sheets of bent metal that appear weightless, their gently curving arcs emphasized by scale.
For America Martin, working in large-scale sculpture affords her the space to spatially visualize the wide planes, smooth curves, and textural surfaces that can also be found in her paintings and drawings. Drawing on her Colombian heritage and affinity for modern art, Martin’s sculptures have a timeless presence. Much like the painted figure in Martin’s art, the figurative sculptures present a solid form, firmly grounded and in harmonious balance with the surrounding environment. Having always been drawn to linear forms, Martin translates these qualities into three-dimensional sculpture. In La Mujer, this is beautifully expressed through Martin’s handling of the medium. The sculpture of an abstracted, seated female nude on a platform is equally linearly expressive when seen at various angles. Martin also plays with our perspective by using both a raised platform as well as one solid finish for the piece, creating the illusion of linear flatness in the figure while also emphasizing depth through the raised platform – a juxtaposition of sensory depth that is equally important in her painted works.