Matt Calderwood

‘Composites’, Matt Calderwood

HS Projects presented a new series of sculptures and works on paper by Matt Calderwood, in direct response to the site at 5 Howick Place.

Matt Calderwood is well known for his modular works, made of interlocking elements that explore the potential of sculptural language and examine the properties and dynamics of different materials. Taking the dynamism of urban architecture as his starting point – the chevron shape is a familiar theme – Calderwood experiments with balance, tension and chance to produce site specific works that become a record of a specific place.

‘I have been thinking about adaptability and the potential for change in response to changing external factors. All the works I have chosen to install at Howick Place are essentially modular, and as such, have the potential to be expanded, contracted and reconfigured in response to their environment.’

‘Rubber (Pile)’, 2013-17 and ‘Untitled’, 2017 are configurations of elements that have previously been used as printing blocks in the studio and exhibited as components of earlier sculptures. The element of chance plays an important role in Calderwood’s process-based but also carefully choreographed practice. The components in ‘Rubber (Pile)’, 2013-17, previously shown at Baltic 39 in a loose and scattered manner, are here pulled together into a much more dense and energetic pile. In their current location they could be seen as something like a camp fire.

Component parts of ‘Untitled’, 2017 were previously used for his work ‘Strapped’, 2013, which was exhibited during Frieze Sculpture Park in Regents Park, physically strapped-up and leaning against a tree in the park. At Howick Place the components transform into a totallly new work, a modernist and abstract towering structure, still bearing the imprints and residues from the elements, after being exposed to the weather conditions of Regents Park.

This performative and experimental aspect of Calderwood’s work remains a constant throughout his practice. For his exhibitions ‘Paper Over the Cracks’ at Baltic 39 and ‘Exposure’ at the De La Warr Pavilion, he exposed a series of geometric structures, made from welded steel and clothed in white billboard paper, to the natural elements to fend for themselves. During the four months’ exposure to heavy wind, rain, strong sunlight and salty air on the outdoor roof terraces, a slow process of transformation took place. The paper weathered and faded, and the steel began to rust in patterns, a visual record of how the sculptures met the elements they were exposed to.

Opposite the lifts, ‘Composites’, 2017 is a new series of large-scale works on paper, hand printed directly from 3d sculptural elements, similar to the ones exhibited. Mounted onto shaped aluminium composite panels, they are made in response to the Howick Place site. Black designs on white paper formed from chevron blocks, reminiscent of fonts and arranged according to chance, appear as contact prints of the sculptures, their different shades add dimension and depth. Different configurations of the ‘Composites’ will be explored during the course of the exhibition.

‘Composites’ was at 5 Howick Place from June to December 2017.