Picture Frame by Jamie Calderwood


Jamie Calderwood’s striking red sculpture, Picture Frame, pops out of its complimentary green surroundings immediately on sight. Bold and simple, the piece aims to shake the viewer out of their conditioned responses to their environment and the art within it. Calderwood writes, “By placing simplified cubes, stairs, doors, benches, chairs, etc. in a specific landscape setting the viewer will be drawn in and participate in the discovery of another way of looking at these objects.”

The picture frame that the sculpture’s title alludes to is clearly visible. What exactly is being framed appears a little more ambiguous; a red square seemingly cut from the interior of the frame slips out, and negative space allows us a glimpse at the park environment. The composition asks us to question what it is we see when we view a piece of art. Do we simply see the work in and of itself, or what surrounds it? Perhaps Calderwood hopes we search even deeper, within our own unconscious, to complete the image. Indeed, Picture Frame seems to ask us as viewers to mentally slip past the first face of a piece of art and explore depths that go beyond what exists visibly. Such psychological interpretation seems to be Calderwood’s main fodder. He describes his work as investigating “the relationship between the architectural imagination and the natural/cultural landscape.” In public art specifically, he works in two ways, exploring “the poetry of place through the use of local imagery,” or exploring “one’s mind for something that universally resonates with the public.” Picture Frame seems to be a poetic molding of both camps.

A self-described “multidisciplinary artist and designer,” Calderwood holds a BFA in sculpture from Syracuse University where he studied with renowned sculptor Rodger Mack. He counts Maya Lin, Allan Wexler, and Gordon Matta-Clark, among others, as part of a milieu of architecturally minded artists to whom he claims close artistic and philosophical relation. Having shown his work up and down the east coast and in California, Calderwood has received praise from the New York Times, The Boston Globe, and the Providence Journal. He lives and works in Durham, New Hampshire.

Todd Stong




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