Andrew Erdos and Yasue Maetake meet conceptually where humans and nature collide and act upon each other over time. Largely made of glass, Erdos’ art reflects an ongoing fascination with land formations, celestial activity and mammalian life forms. Using materials such as industrial steel, resin, wood and paper, Maetake’s pieces play with processes of creation, corrosion and regeneration. Together these two artists represent humankind’s striving to understand our powers, limitations and relationship to the natural environment.
Following “Amorphous Terrain” at mh PROJECT NYC in 2018, Erdos and Maetake have been brought together for a second time in “Amorphous Terrain 2” at 5-50 Gallery in Long Island City.
In the gallery’s apt garage-like viewing space, one feels neither inside nor outside, but rather caught in an environment marked by flux. Artworks can be found all around, either out in plain sight or in more hidden corners. And standing front and center is Maetake’s “Precarious Windbreak” (2019). Made with both shiny and corroded metals, wood and natural fiber, the feel of the piece matches its title — resembling portions of a shipwreck, shantytown or collection of wind-broken umbrellas.
Beside this work stands “Untitled” (2019), a collaboration between Maetake and Erdos, constructed of plumbing pipe and glass, and further implying an integral water element that is, nevertheless, absent from view.
Erdos’ “Collision of Matter” (2017-2019), combining molten glass and steel, sits atop a wooden structure labeled “Bell & Mackenzie” — a Canadian-based sand, glass and sandblasting equipment distributor. The glass feels to have erupted and frozen into a mountainous shape. Something like burn marks and bits of glass can be seen behind it. The piece appears both glacier-like and volcanic.
Maetake’s “Printed Oxidation and Indigo Blue on Fiber Relief II” (2018) creeps around an upper corner of the viewing space and above the door to the gallery office. Rusted steel wires of varying lengths and at varying angles intersect with one another to form a thorny ribbon. Pieces of natural fiber appear stretched and weathered in spaces between the wires. The piece feels welcoming and decorative and at the same time a bit like barbed wire fencing.
Erdos’ “Moon” (2017), a porous, dark grey disc made of fused glass, mimics both the crater laden orb from which it takes its title and the white brick wall of the gallery on which it is mounted. Positioned about eye-level, and at just 16 x 16 inches, viewers may feel like they have somehow come face-to-face with their distant vision of earth’s satellite.
Dotted with remnants of industrialization — since dwindled, grown over and replaced with new business development — Long Island City is a perfect backdrop to the cyclical processes and concepts that make up “Amorphous Terrain 2.” Maetake’s pieces, in particular, seem practically at one with the surrounding neighborhood. Both artists beckon us to contemplate nature, not simply as an environment in which humans live and build, but as an awesome force that in turn acts upon our own creations.
A collaboration between artists Andrew Erdos and Yasue Maetake at 5-50 Gallery
Curated by Greg Barton
February 22nd – March 23rd
5-50 51st Ave., Long Island City, NY 11101