Amorphous Terrain 2
A collaboration between artists Andrew Erdos and Yasue Maetake
Curated by Greg Barton
February 22nd - March 23rd
As scrapmongers, Erdos and Maetake gather, fabricate, and manipulate a wide variety of raw and treated components: safety glass, silicone adhesive, argon gas, epoxy resin, fibrous pulp, steel rebar, chicken wire, plumbing pipes, molten aluminium, trapped carbon, jute rope, mulberry bark, anthracite, cane, and lead, among others. Evoking the external support structures used in construction, as well as ecological references like mountain ranges and rock formations, the sculptural objects and scenographic design foreground fragments and frameworks related to larger bodies of work and the urban context. The individual pieces and armatures meld rigid and fluid parts, fusing together robust and fragile materials, volumes, and surfaces.
The artists point to the gallery’s location in the open construction site that is Long Island City, highlighting its place as a nexus of New York’s Darwinian real estate forces. Amid drastic change at multiple scales, Erdos and Maetake focus on the make-up of the environment and its constituent forms, emphasizing our bodily experience and sensorial relationship to the world’s natural and artificial registers. Time is another central feature of both artists’ practices. Whether seconds, years, or centuries, the durational role and transitory states of material life cycles inform and arise from the exhibition.
Like the assembly, performance, and demolition of buildings or infrastructure, these artworks involve elemental substances, embodied energy, chemical reactions, extractive economies, and physical labour. Erdos and Maetake negotiate such organic matter and tangible processes, dramatically harnessing them yet retaining a reverential approach to their intrinsic qualities.
Amorphous Terrain 2 questions how humans modify the world in ways both detrimental and vitalizing. The show does not suggest didactic solutions but instead offers a variety of speculative aesthetics whereby ordinary resources and byproducts are transmuted into unforeseen marvels.
The first installment of Amorphous Terrain took place at mhPROJECTnyc (April - May, 2018).
Andrew Erdos is a mixed-media artist living in Brooklyn. His practice explores time, light, and the relationship between humans and the environment, often involving blown and cast glass, metals, photography, video, and installation. He has shown internationally with venues including Guadalajara 90210, State Hermitage Museum, EFA Project Space, and the Chimney. He has held residencies at the Corning Museum of Glass and his works are in the collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Toledo Museum of Art, New Britain Museum, 21c Museum, Chazen Museum of Art, and Knoxville Museum of Art.
Yasue Maetake is a mixed-media sculptor and installation artist living in Queens. Her practice often utilizes fibrous materials, metals, wood, and binding agents to investigate time, industrial construction, raw elements, and natural processes. She has exhibited internationally, including the Galerie Fons Welters, Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem, Espacio 1414/Berezdivin Collection, Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Queens Museum, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, the Chimney, and False Flag. She was a resident in the studio of artist El Anatsui in Ghana and received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts and Agency for Japanese Cultural Affairs.
Greg Barton is a researcher and curator interested in spatial politics and the built environment. He has worked on various projects with artists, architects, activists, and nonprofit institutions like the Canadian Centre for Architecture and Storefront for Art and Architecture. His most recent exhibition, Scaffolding (Center for Architecture, 2017-18), explored the history and ephemeral structures of scaffolding as a collaborative, kit-of-parts construction tool.