helper is pleased to present makeshift, an exhibition of work by Amanda C. Mathis and Matt Quinn. This exhibition has materialized from the practice of continual building, deconstructing, and reconstructing. The work of these two artists overlaps in the realm of construction, encompassing ideas on the basic process of assembling parts as well as the industry of erecting architectural structures.
Informed by aspects of building, Mathis and Quinn explore ideas of urban renewal and rootlessness through sculpture, installation, and architectural modifications. Their work references notions of substandard, modern-day construction, architectural ecosystems, and the repurposing of habitable spaces. By removing areas of helper’s interior, Mathis exposes the building’s strata and reveals the efforts of past occupants to repair or refashion their space. Similar to the repurposing of buildings, Quinn employs disassembled, wooden household artifacts to create non-utilitarian structures. Through these actions, the two make a cohesive installation in helper’s project space that entails parallel processes and concepts.
Amanda C. Mathis was born in Orlando, FL and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Masters degree in sculpture from Pratt Institute in 2006 and has since participated in a number of exhibitions and residency programs. Selected group exhibitions have included I can’t quite place it . . . at Smack Mellon, between to and from at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, and Associated with Open Source Gallery. Mathis’s first solo show, Bringing Down the House, was with James Nicholson Gallery in 2006, and in 2008 she was commissioned to do a large-scale installation at Smack Mellon. She has participated in the Artist in the Marketplace program at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, which concluded with the group exhibition Here and Elsewhere. From 2009-2010 Mathis was an artist-in-residence at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace program. She was recently awarded a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. More of her work can be viewed at www.amandacmathis.com.
Matt Quinn was born in Groton, CT and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He received his MFA in sculpture from Pratt Institute in 2007 and has been awarded residencies with the Chashama Program and the Vermont Studio Center. While participating in group exhibitions around New York, Quinn continues his individual practice and maintains an ongoing collaboration as a founder of The New Atlantis Collective. He also remains involved in various musical and theatre performance projects. More of his work can be viewed at www.mattquinnstudio.com.