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Waddington Custot opens an exhibition of new work by American sculptor Jedd Novatt
Jedd Novatt, South London VI, 2018, 131 x 198cm. Courtesy Waddington Custot.

LONDON.- Waddington Custot presents an exhibition of new work by American sculptor Jedd Novatt. The exhibition comprises of new, large-scale sculptures from Novatt’s Chaos series, and is his first solo exhibition at Waddington Custot.

Novatt’s Chaos sculptures, constructed from linear, asymmetrical and quadratic shapes, are a group of works he has been developing since 2008. This exhibition will show Novatt’s most recent sculptures from the series, including three large-scale stainless steel sculptures at almost 3-metres high. These are being shown alongside a selection of smaller stainless-steel sculptures and table-top sculptures constructed in Cor-ten steel.

Novatt’s sculptures seek to investigate and challenge preconceived notions of space and interaction with sculpture. His new works continue to explore space, the work being less about the physical sculptural form than the void it contains. The sculptures’ open cubic forms carve out space, whilst the sculptures themselves appear on the verge of collapse. The solidarity of the cube is often subverted by breaks which disrupt the geometric clarity and further emphasise the precarious nature of the sculpture.

Novatt achieves a weightlessness through his dynamic compositions which is juxtaposed with the perceived weight of the industrial metals that he employs. His decision to use brushed stainless and Cor-ten (weathering) steel can be understood as a stripping away the obvious material quality, and going some way towards reducing the strength of form.

Scale and light are important elements in Novatt’s work. By placing large and small-scale works in conversation he is not only exploring scale but also material, highlighting and exaggerating the differences. He is interested in the site-specific, making sculpture that the architecture of the gallery can only just contain, creating a tension between the architectural and sculptural boundaries. Light is equally significant for Novatt, who sees the shadows cast by his sculptures as an extension of the physical work and a form of drawing in space. This concept is emphasised by dramatic lighting of the installation within the gallery space.

Earlier sculptures from Novatt’s Chaos series are installed worldwide in prominent public collections, such as Pérez Art Museum, Miami, Florida; Middlebury College Museum of Art, Vermont; SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia; La Piscine Musée d’Art et d’Industrie, France; Chatsworth House, Derbyshire and City of Bilbao, Spain.

Jedd Novatt (b. 1958, Brooklyn, New York) graduated from Sarah Lawrence College, New York, in 1980, and went on to pursue sculpture at Lacoste School of Art, France (later merged with Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia). He returned to New York in 1981 and had his first solo exhibition at Tibor de Nagy Gallery. Novatt was invited to participate in the Beyond Limits, Sotheby’s at Chatsworth annual exhibition in 2008 (and later in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2016). His work has entered important international public collections, including List Visual Arts Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Massachusetts; El Paso Museum of Art, Texas; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida; Chatsworth House Trust, Derbyshire; and Yountville, Napa Valley, California. Novatt lives with his family in Paris, and divides time between his studios in Paris; Ménerbes, Provence; and Basque Country, Spain.

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