PRESENTED BY BLACK BOOK GALLERY DENVER, CO OPENING SATURDAY NOVEMBER 9TH, 2019 RECEPTION 7-9 PM ARTIST IN ATTENDANCE
Black Book Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new mixed-media works by Matt Bilfield. Entitled Geometricize, this exhibition continues Bilfield’s explorations into geometric patterns, structure, perspective, and color. Sculptural in form, yet atmospheric in effect, these works employ mathematical precision to achieve visual complexity and emotional depth. Each work is comprised of thousands of 2-inch wooden dowels, which the artist painstakingly arranges to construct his compositions. Every dowel is individually placed with numerous vantage points in mind. As the viewer moves, the work is “activated” and the once predictable pattern suddenly begins to blend into a mix of colors and optical illusions. What was once static becomes kinetic.
Drawing from artistic movements such as pointillism, as well as more contemporary formats like the pixels of computer graphics, Bilfield describes his process as a synthesis of minimalism and density. “I enjoy the challenge of getting the most functional and aesthetic impact out of design simplicity,” he states. “The dowel holes are drilled using a CNC machine where the spacing of each ring of holes is meticulously calculated and programmed using pi and the ring circumference. The pieces with gradations use a custom density algorithm to dictate how many dowels are required to create seamless transitions of color while respecting the confines of a set number of holes. The larger works utilize over 5,000 dowels to create an ombre effect that allows the viewer to experience the color transition. Visually, I’m deciding where I want colors to start and stop and how I want to saturate them relative to other colors; but, mathematically, I’m calculating how to make that vision possible.” The title of each work reveals its exact number of dowels.
Based in Los Angeles, Bilfield’s latest series is reminiscent of the “West Coast School,” an artistic movement that originated in Southern California and was defined by color gradations and aesthetic investigations into light and space. Similarly, Bilfield’s recent works maximize the emotion inherent to pure color and, while these pieces are certainly abstract, they nonetheless allude to celestial auras (sunrise, sunset, the cosmos, and the galaxy), as well as microbiology and cellular matter (the stuff of all living organisms). Still, the experience of any of Bilfield’s works will vary from viewer to viewer, based on their unique vantage points – an aesthetic, conceptual and philosophical query into the nature of perception itself.
“In creating the subject matter for my work, my goal is to push the amount of emotion I’m able to portray using a methodical medium that forces me to make definitive color placement choices,” he says. “Oftentimes the placement of only a few dowels can directly affect the overall mood of each piece.”
Matt Bilfield was born in 1981. This is his second solo show with Black Book Gallery. His work has been exhibited extensively across North America, as well as internationally, including exhibitions in Hong Kong, Zurich, and Tel Aviv.
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