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Edward Mayer: Drawing Out


From November 1 through December 3, 2005 Zabriskie Gallery exhibits new work by Edward Mayer. For more than three decades, Mayer has been building large-scale sculptures that transform space and order perception through the use of simple geometries and everyday materials such as pre-fabricated shelving, wire fencing and wood lath strips. Each new installation allows Mayer to expand his vocabulary of forms. By the late 1980s, references to huts, walls, towers and tunnels began to take on the metaphoric proportions of small cities. The architectural elements of a given site, including its existing windows, columns, and ventilation systems, began to play an expanded role in Mayer’s effort to re-define spatial relationships on his terms.

Increasingly Mayer has directed his interests toward the viewer's perception of these spaces by providing opportunity to enter, move through, and survey his installations from multiple perspectives. Unlike his earlier enclosed wood lath structures, his introduction of materials with an inherent transparency such as common wire tomato planters and metal fencing cylinders now give access to his installations. At the core of Mayer’s installations are his distinct concerns regarding the repetition of modular forms, the reuse and transformation of everyday objects, a preoccupation with linearity and transparency and the creation of a delicate balance between legibility and inscrutability.

Mayer’s new work Drawing Out is 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 eighteen foot 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.

This is Edward Mayer’s second solo show at Zabriskie Gallery. A survey of his work was recently installed at the University Art Museum in Albany, NY. He has had solo exhibits at the Nassau County Museum; the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis; the Kunsthalle, Darmstadt, Germany; the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh; Zolla-Liebermann Gallery in Chicago; Madison Art Center; the São Paulo Bienal in São Paulo Brazil; Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, and the New York State Museum in Albany, New York. He is the recipient of numerous awards and grants including two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships and a NYFA Fellowship in Sculpture. Edward Mayer is the Sculpture Area Chair at the University at Albany.

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