The latest site-specific installations by Elana Herzog and Peter Dudek presented by Smack Mellon, complement one another in interesting yet indirect ways. Peter Dudek’s assemblages, consisting of found materials and fabricated objects, are methodically positioned on the gallery floor. The interlaced objects remain in a state of flux as Dudek continually modifies the arrangement throughout the course of the exhibition. In the back space, Elana Herzog creates an image that also seems to continually shift—a plaid pattern of fabric remains in a state of emergence and dissolution as she affixes yards of plaid fabric on drywall using thousands of staples. In this new incarnation of Herzog’s work, she seamlessly introduces structural elements to the existing architecture of the gallery. As these two internationally recognized Brooklyn artists transform the space they create an exchange in modes and materials that is both visually and conceptually striking.
Peter Dudek New Monuments to My Lovelife
New Monuments to My Lovelife is an elaboration on and expansion of several ongoing projects. Each project takes the shape of an installation containing various and sundry drawings, sculptures and photographs that are dispersed throughout the gallery and, periodically, shifted about during the course of the exhibition. At Smack Mellon sections of these projects are brought together for the first time. New parts are added and original compositions are reconfigured to play off of the considerable size of Smack Mellon’s space. Laid out before the viewer is an expansively comparative intermingling of ready-made and handcrafted components. Amidst this sprawling network of low-tech assemblages an intentional blurring between the found and the fabricated is at play, resulting in a rambling and discursive junction where modern architecture, design, and modes of presentation intermix.
Elana Herzog Plaid
For some years my work has involved stapling textiles to these reinforced gypsum panels using thousands of metal staples. Parts of the fabric and the staples are then removed, and sometimes reapplied, leaving a residue of shredded fabric and perforated wall surface, in some areas, and densely stapled and built up areas elsewhere. The structure of the embedded image is thus generated directly from the weave of the fabric. The progressively dematerialized image, articulated by metal staples and fabric residue, seems to be simultaneously emerging from and disappearing into the wall.
The work negotiates the often thin line between attraction and repulsion, pain and pleasure, the vulgar and the sublime. Although very much focused on form, it evokes a visceral response in the viewer that complicates any purely formal reading.
In several recent pieces I’ve designed and built new walls in the exhibition space, altering the configuration of the rooms. This project further explores the relationship between built structures and their surfaces. Simple forms emerge from the walls of the gallery. “Plaid” creeps through the gallery space like a stain. Meandering images scar the walls, insinuating themselves into the simple geometry of architectural forms.