Matt Wedel : Everything is Everything. LA Louver. Venice Beach. Photos by EMS

Venice, CA — L.A. Louver is pleased to present an exhibition of new ceramic sculptures by Ohio-based artist Matt Wedel. Using sculptural formality as a basis for painterly abstractions, the artist navigates between these two impulses in his stylized flower and figurative forms. “Dealing with culture in the context of nature and landscape, these newer works are an extension of exploring paint as sculpture, as well as sculptural action. As these parameters collapse, you enter this way of thinking: ‘Everything is painting, and at the same time, everything is an act of sculpting.’” – Matt Wedel Wedel’s subjects suggest the natural world and classical figuration through representations of flowers, trees, landscapes and portrait heads. In a sequence of modestly-scaled Flower tree sculptures, the artist begins the table top forms by creating multi-leaved plants in monochrome white porcelain. Atop these structures Wedel daubs vibrantly colored abstract swaths of porcelain, like heavily impastoed paint. As if captured in suspended motion, the color configurations appear freshly bestowed, partially obscuring the meticulously articulated petals that lie beneath. Wedel uses a similar technique to address a series of small Portrait sculptures, each proportioned to that of a human head. Indistinct facial features are evinced through the smudged application of vividly pigmented porcelain on foundations of the same material. Impressionistic and reductive, each smear of color is measured and deliberate, as if striving for identity and recognition. Several large sculptures punctuate the gallery space. Resembling a wild labyrinth of tangled vines, Fruit landscape(s) are shaped from draping mounds of collapsed ribbon-like tendrils. Returning to glazed finishes, Wedel’s unwieldy overgrown forms are balanced with a subdued treatment of color — one features a family of grays and whites, another blush pinks, reds and soft yellows, and the largest (measuring nearly 8 ft/2.5 m tall) a speckled finish of diluted cobalt blue. Their immense weight, stature and towering energy seem directly aligned with the stacked sculptures by visionary ceramicist Peter Voulkos (1924-2002). “To me, [Voulkos] was challenging the entire history of ceramics,” states Wedel. “I enjoy figures in art that hold so much power as makers.”

(taken from website)

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