Matthew Hawtin




Torqued Panels Phase I - 2010

The idea for a torqued panel grew out of the Torqued Painting series of 2009 when I was exploring the possibility of removing, or in the case of the 2009 work, of hiding the structure of the paintings to focus more intently on only surface. The main concept was to completely remove the physical frame of the work but maintain a torqued plane and leave behind only a painted surface that floated off the wall.

I choose to work in fiberglass for this new series, firstly by taking a mould of an old torqued painting and then using the mould to cast the panels. The mould and subsequent panels were produced at Jim’s Automotive in Windsor, Canada. Initially we produced 4 small panels to test different painting applications and later we produced another 10 panels at the maximum size of 121 x 121 cm.

Phase I can be seen as the technical stage in the development of this new work, a time of learning and frustration but then clarity that finally comes thru trial and error. Once cast, the panels went to O&O Automotive in Windsor for the surfaces to be prepared for painting. At this stage my ideas for the panels were centered on working with automotive paint in order to achieve a high-gloss and refined finish. I completed a series of small drawings exploring different designs and was interested in trying to achieve something ‘other-worldly’ and in a sense, futuristic, though the ideas were still being formulated as the work progressed. Working at O&O, I decided to do 2 of the designs to explore and confirm the new direction. The results can be seen in the pieces Edge and In & Out. These works were first hung square on the wall but were then turned into a diamond orientation. Despite looking better I did not feel confident with the final results thus these 2 works, plus a smaller panel, are now the only examples of this phase. It is not that the works aren’t aesthetically pleasing or aren’t successful works of art, they were simply moving the work into a direction I wasn’t interested in exploring.

Thus I retraced my steps back to the panels themselves and back to the original torqued paintings. After much deliberation I decided to prepare the surfaces as if they would be coated with car paint but instead I would finish the surfaces by hand with acrylic paint and in my own studio. I felt this bought the work back to myself, which personalized the work once again and helped move things in a new direction and onto Phase II of the Torqued Panels.

Torqued Panels Phase I