Limerick, Ireland
Matthew Beattie, Wrongness, 2010, all works gouache, charcoal and graphite on Arches paper, 56 x 78 cm or 56 x 78 cm

Matthew Beattie

b. 1971, Canada

The drawings in this ongoing project are generated from the documentation of instances in which architectural intentions are compromised; values such as order, balance and clarity are corrupted, surfaces disturbed, patterns disrupted, shapes incomplete. These ephemeral, unselfconsciously produced images of buildings are arguably more compelling than conventional architectural representations, more ambiguous, with an allusive relationship to what is ordinarily central, existing in a state of tension between abstraction and representation. The source images for the exhibited works are snagging photographs taken immediately prior to the completion of the buildings.

What can an exploration of architectural wrongness reveal about the values, intentions and modes of expression that define architectural, and artistic, rightness? Could the most fruitful intersections between art and architecture be grounded in friction rather than smooth collaboration? An openness to wrongness – the accidents that arise from the process of making and the agency of outside actors and elements – is arguably fundamental to art practice, but how might embracing wrongness challenge conventional architectural thinking? Could architectural strategies to positively engage with contingency – examining architecture as a practice, as a process in its totality, rather than merely as a formal, physical artefact – open up new avenues for constructive engagement between art and architecture?

(Text: e v+ a – matters catalogue, 2010)

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