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Taking shape at Tate St Ives.Toby Paterson manages to be progressive and retro at the same time. The Glaswegian artist openly acknowledges the influence of classic British modernists like Victor Pasmore and Ben Nicholson on his work. However, Paterson’s interest in lines, form and structure grew out of riding around defunct concrete buildings on a skateboard rather than a desire to depict a utopian future.
The essence behind Paterson’s work is the desire to find out why things end up looking the way they do. As he puts it, “What cultural, political and economic situation has made that place exist?” His obsession with architecture and town planning imbues everything he does.
His sculptural reliefs are a hybrid of architectural plans and abstract shapes in subdued greys and blues. His more recent paintings are more vibrant. The bright objects in these temporary pieces float in space, like a vision of a city of 3-D Mondrian canvases.
Toby Paterson: An Isometric Plan is at Tate St Ives until 09 January 04.
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