New commissions by Alison Turnbull and Matt Calderwood are based within the architecture of the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea. The work of both artists appear in two solo exhibitions at the gallery this autumn. Paintings, drawings and sculptures all respond to the history, space and elemental forces making an impact upon the building. The two showcases will run 9 November – 23 February.
Primarily producing abstract paintings and drawings, Turnbull creates pieces from found materials such as cluster diagrams, architectural plans, star charts and maps. Her new presentation at the De La Warr Pavilion presents several new large paintings and works on paper exploring ideas around observation, orientation and perspective. The artist’s starting point for these two recent pieces are plans drawn up by architect Erich Mendelsohn. The first, his elevation drawing for the Einstein Tower observatory (1921) in Potsdam, Germany, designed to measure sunlight and starlight; and the second, his plan of the upward and downward trajectories of the circular staircase of the De La Warr Pavilion (1935). She then takes these function plans and, through a precise methodology, transforms them into poetic art, embracing the cultural and the scientific with planned colour schemes and graphics. The show also includes past works, such as North and South (2011), Lighthouse VII (2012), Ecliptic (2013) and her ongoing Drawing Tables (2010 – ).
In contrast, Matt Calderwood is more concerned with chance, instead he allows the coastal weather and light to choreograph his work. An experimental continuation of Paper Over The Cracks, Calderwood’s show earlier in the year at BALTIC 39, geometric structures made from welded steel clothed in billboard paper have been transformed by four months’ exposure to heavy wind, rain and salty air on the outdoor roof terrace. Now inside the gallery their decomposition is stilled and they appear separate from the site-specific installation made from different stocks of white newsprint applied directly to the walls of the space. The winter sunlight that makes its way into the gallery leaves delicate imprint traces on the paper and as the three-month show continues new patterns evolve.
To coincide with the exhibition programme there will be a new series of 6-week interventions in the rooftop foyer, reflecting themes of architecture and design. On 9 November, when the shows open, the first display is a selection of hand-coloured photographs from the 1930s depicting the Empire Exhibition in Glasgow in 1938, selected by architectural photographer Nigel Green.
Alison Turnbull, Matt Calderwood, 9 November – 23 February, De La Warr Pavilion, Marina, Bexhill On Sea, East Sussex, TN40 1DP.
1. Matt Calderwood Exposure Sculptures, 2013. Photo credit: Nigel Green.
2. Alison Turnbull, London VI from Drawing Table 1, 2010.