Matt Calderwood: Paper Over the Cracks at BALTIC 39, Newcastle

Matt Calderwood is known for his often perilous performances, sculpture and film works, his carefully controlled sculptural systems transform everyday household items such as buckets, wine glasses, basketballs and shovels into extraordinary structures where every part is physically essential to maintain a delicate status quo. Friction, counterbalance and leverage between these disparate objects are carefully orchestrated to avoid the system’s complete collapse. Recent works made out of painted plywood, cast rubber and concrete continue his investigation into co-dependent relationships between groups of objects, all towards a common sculptural goal.

For his solo exhibition at BALTIC 39, his first in a public gallery in the UK, Calderwood will create a series of ambitious new sculptures which explore decaying and collapsing systems and the impact of environment and process on simple everyday materials. The sculptures will comprise multiple, identical elements that stack and interlock and can be built into various sculptural forms. Made of industrial welded steel, these robust forms will be given a fragile skin of paper. The works will be installed on the gallery’s roof terrace where they will weather and decompose to varying degrees, their delicate surfaces recording their exposure and deterioration. They will then be dismantled and reassembled inside the gallery space over the course of the exhibition.

In BALTIC 39’s second gallery space, Calderwood will present a new site-specific video installation in which he will set up a co-dependency between projected video and static sculpture. A selection of short films document performances in which the artist experiments with balance, tension, instability and risk. Calderwood utilises high power projectors to illuminate large reflective sculptural screens which are positioned in the space. The installation will also include a new film work, Strips (mirror) 2013 produced specially for BALTIC 39. Developed from a previous work Strips (vertical) 2005, a large bank of exposed strip lights is systematically smashed until a single tube remains and the process of the shoot is revealed.

Matt Calderwood: Paper Over the Cracks, BALTIC 39, 31–39 High Bridge, Newcastle upon-Tyne NE1 1EW.


1. Matt Calderwood, Untitled 2013. Courtesy the artist and Wilkinson Gallery, London
2. Matt Calderwood, Full-Scale (installation view). Image: Courtesy the artist and Wilkinson Gallery, London