Inner and Outer Space at the Mattress Factory

About mid-April someone from the Mattress Factory invited Pittsburgh bloggers to have media access to the April 25 opening of the new exhibit Inner and Outer Space. As I had not visited the Mattress Factory before, I figured I would take the opportunity to explore another museum/gallery and see some new art. Not that I hadn’t heard of the space previously, my friend Heather Mallak of monkey museum has done some work there in the past. Plus, it’s only about 5 minutes from work.

Modern topics in classic styleI met Mike Woycheck and Uncle Crappy (and wife) to explore Inner and Outer Space together. The art installations by the nine artists go way beyond the traditional painting in a frame on the wall but break through the confines of the floor, walls and ceiling. The new exhibit, which runs through January 2009, seems to complement the other permanent installations nicely.

I won’t describe all of the pieces but mention some favorites. Probably the one piece which best illustrates the concept of inner and outer spaces is 610-3356 by Sarah Oppenheimer, a “wormhole” or viewport from the floor above out the window of the next lower floor. The view is of what looks to be the neighboring backyard and because of the rounded-rectangle shape at the top and a different shape at the window end, the image has the illusion of being compressed.

The rainbow-like being here by Mark Garry, made up of strings affixed to the floor and ceiling with pins, is probably my favorite. In the same room were a couple tufts of grass and hand-cranked music boxes (which I think played “Over the Rainbow”). Another favorite is a rather ingenious piece on both sides of the wall in front of the elevators, Transparent Brick Wall for Kusama by Mary Temple. If you look closely, you’ll see what looks like the concrete wall is shadow see-through, but in reality the artist used a clever differentiation of white and gray paint to make the shadows.

And the crash extends on out the windowCrash in slow motionLikely the most dynamic piece is Instant Before Incident (Marinetti’s Drive 1908) by Luca Buvoli, an abstract metal and fiberglass sculpture depicting a car speeding past (left) and crashing out the window (right). Along with the sculpture is a video/animation of the crash as well as a painting/collage.

I was interested by the wide variety of media and takes the artists took on the topic of Inner and Outer Space including sculpture, video, painting, drawing, fiber optics, robotics, and lighting, just to name a few.

Uncle Crappy examining news art piece

Having been working on the 2008 Carnegie International website for the last couple months, the relationship of the two exhibits titles doesn’t really seem accidental. The Carnegie International exhibit is called Life on Mars and this exhibit is called Inner and Outer Space. Additionally, they are set to close on the same day, January 11.

If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Mattress Factory before or it’s been a while, I reccommend checking it out. Definitely some interesting stuff.


2 Responses to “Inner and Outer Space at the Mattress Factory”

  1. October 1, 2008 at 11:19

    I think I’ll try to talk my wife into visiting with me. I’d really like to see the display of the fiberglass car crashing through a window. Sounds cool! – Phil

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