San Diego sculptor Matt Devine's upcoming exhibition in La Jolla includes a few important firsts. Followers of his art will recognize his signature metal works—both freestanding sculptures and wall pieces—that exhibit a delicate and deliberate balance between chaos and control. But, for the first time ever, folks will be introduced to a few works made of chrome, a material with which he's wanted to work for years. It's also the first time Devine has included so much color in his art, and there'll be noticeably more circular compositions rather than the more improvised organic compositions for which he's known.
"I feel like this is probably the most thought I've put into a show that I've done," says Devine in his Barrio Logan studio space inside Glashaus. "I stood back and really looked at my work from a distance and then put that energy into the show and into the new work."
Devine's resulting sculptures will be shown along with pieces by Jeff Kahm in Between the Lines, a show opening at Madison Gallery (1020 Prospect St., Suite 130, in La Jolla) from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15. The exhibition will remain on view through March 15.
Last year was a big year for Devine: He participated in 11 art exhibitions and fairs and completed and installed two large-scale public artworks, one in front of the Holiday Inn in Point Loma and another in Denver, Colo. This year, he already has eight exhibitions and fairs lined up, including an appearance at the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair this weekend.
The success for the self-taught artist has given him the confidence to keep expanding his body of work and further push the medium of metal, which he masterfully crafts into minimalistic forms that tend to make the heavy, hard, manmade material look as light, soft and organic as possible.
Devine's experimentations aren't always successful at first, though. When he initially tried working in chrome, for example, he realized his sculptures were much too intricate, which creates too many unreachable nooks and crannies that couldn't be polished (a necessary step in order to get the recognizable luster of chrome). He ended up visiting a junkyard and finding enough pre-polished chrome to use in his new work.
No matter the material, color or shape, Devine says his new art is also a return to the basics.
"I'm really trying hard to dive deeper into the simplistic," he explains. "I'm really trying to minimalize as much as possible while still making stuff interesting."