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Tuesday July 14, 2020 | by Gabriella Sanderson

INSTALLATION: Andrew Erdos unveils monumental commission at Brooklyn gallery

Andrew Erdos, an American sculptor based in Brooklyn, New York, has been experimenting with the medium of glass since he was 15 years old. Now 35, he has just unveiled his latest work, a monumental mixed-media work entitled Not for the Peak, but for the Mountain (2020), which was commissioned by and is being exhibited at The Chimney Gallery, NYC. Since June 2015, The Chimney Gallery, based in Brooklyn, New York, has been exhibiting both multidisciplinary and international artists in various exhibition venues in the United States, France, Mexico and Senegal. They re-purpose historical and industrial buildings to house their exhibitions in addition to artist workshops, live events and art professionals talks. The sculpture was made at his alma mater Alfred University's National Casting Center. (Erdos holds a 2007 BFA from Alfred University).

Erdos in the studio. 2020. courtesy: the chimney, new york

This is Erdos’ second solo exhibition at the space, and The Chimney’s last exhibition at its Morgan Avenue outpost. The Chimney’s next exhibition will open in Dakar, Senegal, in congruence with the Dakar Biennial. As an Alfred alumnus, Erdos continues to use their studio space to create his artworks in artist in residence (A.i.R) programs. His current solo exhibition runs through July 26, 2020, and can be viewed online and by appointment. The show is curated by the directors and founders of The Chimney, Clara Darrason and Jennifer Houdrouge. Due to the pandemic, the opening was held through a zoom call on May 21, 2020 with the Museum of Art and Design’s MAD Luminaries' live artist salon program. The MAD Luminaries program is a platform for young art professionals to connect with collectors and leading art world figures to support and promote emerging NYC artists through a curated program of talks and events.

In these times of uncertainty, we have all been called upon to reflect, learn, and grow. The importance of the journey and small moments are highlighted as the world is forced to slow down in 2020. With breaks from “reality”, people across the United States now have the time to explore the countryside in order to stay clear from infectious crowds. Not for the Peak, but for the Mountain mirrors these times of change and asks everyone to ponder the notion of time. The artwork is a statement on the coexistence of geological and industrial landscapes. As the artist drove “through miles of frozen majestic and desolate landscapes” listening to the music stylings of Phillip Glass in the south west United States last winter, he was inspired by the millennial mountain landscapes. The industrial and geological worlds collide with the geothermal energy in ancient glass blowing techniques that reflect artificial city landscapes.

Work on Erdos's latest monumental sculpture began in August 2019, and the process lasted up until a few days before the opening. The sculpture was made in “five modular sections each built on a reclaimed industrial palette,” Erdos explained in a email interview with the Glass Quarterly Hot Sheet. The installation was completed in two parts with assistance of a forklift by the artists himself along with additional colleagues. The finished product is situated in a dark room to illuminate the sculpture with custom-made professional grade theatre lighting. This is Andrew’s largest sculpture yet, existing at 12 feet high and 12 feet wide. The interior includes a steel armature – a casting practice he started experimenting with at Alfred University – wrapped in galvanized steel mesh. Two metal water tanks inside the piece are part of the cooling process. After Erdos pours the molten glass onto the sculpture alike a volcanic thermo-reaction, the molten glass reacts to the cooling agents creating the exterior.  The glass method is inspired by living and transforming nature which translates well into his works. To create the mountains, he uses a 50-pound utensil and pours hundreds of layers of molten glass at over 2,300 degrees Fahrenheit, onto the steel armatures which are then cooled by the water tanks inside the piece. The sculpture is a living and transforming object. The result is a series of crystalline protrusions and “layered textures of stalagmites and stalactites” that is contrasted by the “crevasses and craters with sharp crests and needles.” Incandescent filaments drip through the basins and portray a movement of time and change. Glass work is a unique process that can transform in heat at a rapid pace, it takes precision and control.  

Not for the peak, but for the mountain. 2020.
In the studio with Erdos - process of pouring molten glass to create the layered effect of the sculpture. 2020. courtesy: the chimney, new york

The show is on available to view online and by appointment through The Chimney website.Despite the pandemic, Erdos’ future exhibitions have continued as planned. His new works feature a series of black volcanic sand and moon jars with sand melted into the surface of the vessel. The works are produced at the Glass Art Engine in addition to the research facilities of the engineering school and the glass art studio at Alfred University. We look forward to seeing what comes next for Andrew Erdos.

His work is in the permanent collections of the Corning Museum of Glass, Knoxville Museum of Art, and the Kemper Museum of Art.

"Not for the Peak, but for the Mountain"
Extended through July 26, 2020 (by appointment only Sat/Sun)
The Chimney Gallery, NYC
200 Morgan Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11237


Glass: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for more than 40 years.