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Drawing Out: A site-specific installation


Edward Mayer
Drawing Out was assembled on site in the main gallery where it slants diagonally across the space and fills the center from floor to ceiling. Architectural in scale, the 18’ long white, corridor-like structure draws you in… and through… and across; it redirects your progress and vision away from the walls to the profusion of objects wrapped in vinyl tape that crown this structure of standardized lengths of laundry shelving, fashioned into triangular columns and lintels, and tenuously held in place by plastic ties. The vinyl tape spiraled around each scavenged or collected object chaotically clustered in this uncertain relationship of things expands the use of line to both form and surface.

In the smaller rear gallery, centered on the axis of Drawing Out and positioned in front of the window where back lighting during the day dissolves the form and accentuates its fragile existence, stands a signature Urn, an orderly and controlled structure, also built on site, of 8” pieces of wood lath held in place solely by gravity and friction. Mayer first exhibited his stacked wood lath sculptures, created without the use of adhesives, in 1976. The Urn, a cairn-like form, has appeared repeatedly in his installations since 1982.

On the wall across from Urn are two framed 36” x 36” CAD generated line drawings plotted on vellum. They depict different views to scale of an architectural interior, a cylindrical atrium that has suspended within its center, a proposed cube made up of circle and diamond shapes for a sculpture consisting of 1000 conventional garden tomato frames. The original Bloculus, was a freestanding sculpture developed for and exhibited earlier this year in a survey exhibition, Edward Mayer/Tracing Change, at the University Art Museum in Albany, NY. The orderly, controlled repetition of a single module characteristic of the 3 works shown in the back gallery contrast markedly with the cacophonous, unpredictability of Drawing Out in the main gallery, though each work is characterized by a lattice-like transparency.

Mayer’s work continues to focus on a repetition of modular forms and actions and a reuse and transformation of commonplace objects; his large scale, site specific architectural works embody a preoccupation with linearity and transparency in both structure and process, and in establishing a delicate balance between legibility and inscrutability.

“The specificity of an idea demands a specificity of order, of materials, of scale, of place. Permanence is arriving at a decision at a specific moment in the development of an idea. Permanence might be achieved through renewal.”

Artist's Statement

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