Pop Filter Hot Pick: Mattress Factory unveils three new exhibitions and one new gallery
Why you should go
: The Mattress Factory
is marking 35 years as Pittsburgh's premier destination for cutting-edge contemporary art and you're invited.
Long a place where perceptions shift, expectations are left at the curb, juxtapositions are championed--and where art literally alters the way you think about and see the world--the Mattress Factory
is unveiling three new exhibitions and one new gallery space on Thursday, September 12th, from 7 to 9 p.m. Part of the museum's ongoing 35th anniversary, the triple header show also marks the first time that all of the participating artists have exhibited in Pittsburgh.
With their finger ever on the pulse of contemporary art currents, the Northside museum has turned its unique residency-based approach to artists and art making coming out of Detroit. Anchoring Thursday's festivities is the opening of Detroit: Artists in Residence
, which runs through May 25, 2014, at the museum's main HQ at 500 Sampsonia Way.
Summoning the "edgy creativity and entrepreneurial spirit" that has informed the museum itself since founding as a neighborhood gathering space for artists of all ilks, the show presents new work by four individual artists and two artist collaborations. Featured are Detroit-based artists Design 99 (Mitch Cope + Gina Reichert), Jessica Frelinghuysen, Scott Hocking, Nicola Kuperas + Adam Lee Miller, Russ Orlando, and Frank Pahl.
Understanding where, how and why artists make new work--including visiting their studios and sites of inspiration--is a fundamental part of the process of curating its residency and exhibition programs for Mattress Factory co-directors Barbara Luderowski and Michael Olijnyk.
"Everything that you hear about Detroit makes it a real opportunity for artists to start things there. This is the same thing that happened with SoHo in New York City. Artists are like magnets: they go where they are not supposed to go. They find possibilities, they generate things and and they turn that into something else," says Olijnyk, who along with Luderowski, visited artist studios throughout Detroit.
The artists--who all live and work in the Detroit Metro area, and range in age from 30 to 50--were chosen during a Fall 2012 trip by museum staff, who explain that "while each are connected by their environment, the reactions these artists have to the swift socioeconomic changes happening in Detroit is vastly different and intensely powerful."
In addition to Detroit: Artists in Residence
, the Mattress Factory is also unveiling two additional exhibitions. Janine Antoni
, which is curated by Margery King and includes collaborative work by Stephen Petronio, opens at the museum's 1414 Monterey St. gallery. Working in a range of mediums over the past two decades--including sculpture, photography, installation, performance, and video--Antoni creates work that explores the roles of femininity and the feminine body while celebrating the physical act of making art.
Marking the grand opening of its newest space for art at 516 Sampsonia Way is Trace of Memory
, featuring new work by Japanese-born, Berlin-based artist Chiharu Shiota. The inaugural exhibition housed in 516--a three-story 19th-century row house renovated by the museum--Shiota's work addresses loss and ambiguity via installations informed by the site's existing architectural, psychological and ephemeral layers.
"She is really using the architecture and the layers of history in the space. You will not believe what you find as you search through the space and it slowly opens up and unfolds. The discovery is part it," adds Olijnyk, who says the building's original owner was "obsessed with wallpaper" and that traces of these visual elements remain visible. As visitors make their way through the building, which was constructed in 1880 as an apartment, they will encounter Shioda's everyday objects--shoes, pianos, furniture, and hospital beds--encased in one million feet of black yarn.
to learn more about the artists. Thursday's opening runs from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is $15 (free for members and students w/valid ID from Carlow, Carnegie Mellon, Point Park, and Pitt).
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