Matt Roberts, Wide Blue Yonder, exhibition view, the Ice Plant, February 2013

Matt Roberts

Matt Roberts is an Oregon-based artist who makes sculptures. He often uses found materials which he then manipulates until they are largely unrecognizable. His work employs extra-sculptural gestures, such as walking and mapping, to express his understanding of place. Roberts’ sculptural installations often take on a monumental scale, wherein the man-made objects or gestures are placed against the overwhelming scale of nature. In his exhibition at the Ice Plant, Wild Blue Yonder, Roberts took the West Texas sky and abstracted it into an enormous blue tarp stretched across the width of the space. His tarp was not meant to be the sky, but rather to make the sky unfamiliar enough for the viewer to recognize his or her sense of wonder and amazement. In another piece, he carved a figure out of melted tractor tires. The figure lay on the ground next to a broken rifle. With little information about what could have happened to this figure, viewers were left with the mysterious remnants of an event.

Matt Roberts earned his BFA in Studio Art from Oregon State University in 2012. He has shown his sculptures in Oregon, New York, and Texas.