Modest in scale, Matt Paweski's sleek sculptures are characterised by a micro attention to detail and an obsessive preoccupation with material, colour and texture. His works begin their lives as rudimentary preparatory drawings which serve as templates for his three-dimensional transpositions.
While the Los Angeles artist has previously created hybrid sculptures of wood and steel, his new body of work consists entirely of aluminium plates and sheets joined by copper rivets, illuminated by vibrant monochromes of vinyl paint. One of his objects, aptly named Nude, is even stripped of paint, consisting solely of finely polished aluminium.
This new uniformity of material forces a more intimate investigation of line and drawing, which lies at the origin of each work’s logic or lack thereof. Indeed, as Paweski’s work progresses, the intersection of elements within the rigid geometric 'frame' becomes increasingly complex. Many of his exhibited works consist of open space delineated by an intricate layering of planes and lines.
"The direct inspirations for the works vary, but the common thread is a depiction of sculptural qualities from nature – organic qualities – paired with details from the constructed world – geometric qualities," Paweski remarks. "My interest in particular eras of design, and specifically the Weiner Werkstatte, was exactly for this reason: the use of the ridged framework of furniture to contain flourishes and an oddness of hand, inspired from figurative sculpture and depictions of nature. Certain qualities in a body of work may change from group to group but ultimately the initial drawing needs to have an energy and an oddness to move forward and a durability of composition that is sustained over time."
While his sculptures employ the structural and technical lexicons of interior design, referencing carpentry and furniture-making – shadows of his early career – these subtle allusions to functionality meet with bold expressions of eccentricity enshrined in the arched kerfs and crescent cut-outs. Through a blend of discipline and idiosyncrasy, Paweski’s works become stages where multiple contradictions may unfold.
You can see the direction he's taking at a new exhibition at London's Herald St gallery until the end of March 2017.
Main image: Courtesy Herald St, London. Photo Andy Keate