Matthew Clark's exhibit, Fields of Vision, at ASU's Night Gallery at Tempe Marketplace explores social relationships and choice and chance using a maze as a visual metaphor.
If Facebook were a painting, it could be in this show. The paintings are made of acrylic sheet, vinyl, automotive paint, epoxy resin and magnets are like "super-low-relief sculptures," according to the artist.
"The way that I'm working on these pieces is in a very sculptural way in the sense of my interest of material use (using paint very minimally) really overrides the idea that 'paintings' must be painted," says Clark.
Indeed, the elements in Clark's work are compiled in space. Epoxy resin separates layers in the work, which is very organized and encapsulated by a final layer of resin.
Clark designs using a computer and then most of the other visual elements are created or cut by machine. From far away, all of the elements look quite identical. But up close, one can see the very detailed process Clark has completed.
Clark says he first began thinking about mazes while conquering the "hurdles" of graduate school.
"It struck me that many of us, humans in general, work toward the completion of a goal, whatever that goal may be," he says. "And as we further ourselves in the completion of a goal our paths are diverted in different directions, this way and that -- sometimes forward and sometimes back. And oftentimes the goal changes or is altered. We may not even know what that goal is. The image of the maze seems to me to be the perfect metaphor for this journey."
Visitors of Fields of Vision may notice Clark's pre-occupation with a particular shape, which stems from Clark's interest in video culture. The panels are similar in shape to old TVs but they are also archetypal shapes in geometry.
"The shape of the panels is literally a circle-square - the square is the archetypal shape of the earth or earthly pursuits, and the circle is the archetypal shape of the heavens or enlightened pursuits - the circle square is where these two ideas meet."
Unlike at ASU's Harry Wood Gallery, where Clark showed previously, in the Night Gallery he was able to install "The Path is the Goal" and "Maze Game" as he originally envisioned them.
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"They are very related pieces," says Clark. "'The Path is the Goal' is a literal translation of 'Maze Game' into the 92 separate layers that were stacked and encapsulated in the singular piece. In the Night Gallery set-up 'The Path is the Goal' literally creates a path to 'Maze Game.'"
Next, Clark says he's interested in introducing more traditional drawing materials into his work as well as transmitting light into the display space.
Fields of Vision is on display through October 28. The Night Gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m..