press release

Artists' reception: Saturday, September 29th, 5:00-8:00pm

The latest site-specific installations by Elana Herzog and Peter Dudek, presented by Smack Mellon, complement one another in interesting yet indirect ways. Peter Dudek’s assemblages, consisting of found materials and fabricated objects, are methodically positioned on the gallery floor. The interlaced objects remain in a state of flux as Dudek continually modifies the arrangement throughout the course of the exhibition.

Elana Herzog creates an image that also seems to continually shift—a plaid pattern of fabric remains in a state of emergence and dissolution as she affixes yards of plaid fabric on drywall using thousands of staples. In this new incarnation of Herzog’s work, she seamlessly introduces structural elements to the existing architecture of the gallery. As these two internationally recognized Brooklyn artists transform Smack Mellon’s 6000 square foot gallery space, they create an exchange in modes and materials that is both visually and conceptually striking.

Smack Mellon’s mission is to nurture and support emerging, under-recognized mid-career and women artists in the creation and exhibition of new work by providing exhibition opportunities, studio workspace, and access to equipment and technical assistance for the realization of ambitious projects.

This exhibition is made possible with public funds from the City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, and with generous support from Smack Mellon’s Members, The Greenwall Foundation, Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, Jerome Foundation, Richard Massey, Judith and Donald Rechler Foundation Inc., and Eve Sussman. Smack Mellon also receives generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, City Council Member David Yassky and the New York City Council, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Bloomberg, Foundation for Contemporary Arts The Greenwich Collection Ltd., Independence Community Foundation, Jean and Louis Dreyfus Foundation, Inc., Lily Auchincloss Foundation Inc., Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation Inc., New York Community Trust, Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Inc., The Starry Night Fund of Tides Foundation, and The Roy and Niuta Titus Foundation, Inc.

Space for Smack Mellon’s programs is generously provided by the Walentas Family and Two Trees Management.

New Monuments to My Lovelife is an elaboration on and expansion of several ongoing projects. Each project takes the shape of an installation containing various and sundry drawings, sculptures and photographs that are dispersed throughout the gallery and, periodically, shifted about during the course of the exhibition. At Smack Mellon sections of these projects are brought together for the first time. New parts are added and original compositions are reconfigured to play off of the considerable size of Smack Mellon’s space.

Laid out before the viewer is an expansively comparative intermingling of ready-made and handcrafted components. Amidst this sprawling network of low-tech assemblages an intentional blurring between the found and the fabricated is at play, resulting in a rambling and discursive junction where modern architecture, design, and modes of presentation intermix.

Peter Dudek lives and works in Brooklyn and teaches sculpture at the School of Visual Arts and Hunter College in NYC. He is also the Director of the Storefront Artist Project in Pittsfield, MA and the founder of Archicule

Solo projects have been held at Studio Facchetti, Brooklyn, NY; Hopper House Art Center, Nyack, NY; Bravin Post Lee Gallery, New York City and Revolution, Ferndale, MI. Recently his work was exhibited at: Art Cologne, Germany; Ferrin Gallery, Pittsfield, MA; Gallery 51, North Adams, MA; The Arts Center, St. Petersburg, Fland currently at Gallerí Skilti/Sign Gallery, Reykjavik, Iceland and Hudson Valley Community College, Troy, NY. In October he will present a project at the Lab (47th& Lex) in NYC.

As an independent curator Peter Dudek has organized several exhibitions over the past 15 years including: Dead-Fit Beauty (1997), Architecture! Architecture! Architecture! (1998), Photasm (2000), American Sandwich (2001), T-Zone (2005) and Nature More (2006).

Peter Dudek has been a recipient of the following residencies and awards: Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation Fellowship (1992); Centrum Rzezby Polskiej Residency, Oronsko, Poland (1990), Creative Artists Program Service Fellowship (1982) and Artist-in-Residence, Nethers Colony (1980), Woodville, VA. Dudek is a 2007 NYFA Fellow in Sculpture

For some years my work has involved stapling textiles to these reinforced gypsum panels using thousands of metal staples. Parts of the fabric and the staples are then removed, and sometimes reapplied, leaving a residue of shredded fabric and perforated wall surface, in some areas, and densely stapled and built up areas elsewhere. The structure of the embedded image is thus generated directly from the weave of the fabric. The progressively dematerialized image, articulated by metal staples and fabric residue, seems to be simultaneously emerging from and disappearing into the wall.

The work negotiates the often thin line between attraction and repulsion, pain and pleasure, the vulgar and the sublime. Although very much focused on form, it evokes a visceral response in the viewer that complicates any purely formal reading. In several recent pieces I’ve designed and built new walls in the exhibition space, altering the configuration of the rooms. This project further explores the relationship between built structures and their surfaces. Simple forms emerge from the walls of the gallery. “Plaid” creeps through the gallery space like a stain. Meandering images scar the walls, insinuating themselves into the simple geometry of architectural forms.

Elana Herzog lives and works in New York City. She has had solo and two person exhibitions at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York, PPOW Gallery, and GAGA, in New York City, the Usdan Gallery, Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont. and DiverseWorks in Houston, Texas, the Zilkha Gallery, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut.

Elana Herzog’s work has been internationally exhibited at the Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland, the Gothenberg Konsthalle, Gothenberg, Sweden, and the 1994 Chilean Biennale, Valparaiso, Chile. Her work has been included in shows at The Museum of Arts and Design, The Brooklyn Museum, at The Sculpture Center in Long Island City, New York, at the Anderson Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth University. Herzog’s work was recently been on view in Riverside Park, in Manhattan, as part of “Studio in the Park” curated by Karin Bravin. Her recent two person show at the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield Connecticut was a collaboration with sound artist Michael Schumacher.

Elana Herzog’s upcoming exhibitions include a group show at the Fleming Museum in Burlington, Vermont, and another at Lmak Projects in Chelsea, New York. She will travel to Zurich, Switzerland in September of 2007 to install a site-specific project at K-3. Herzog is the recipient of the 2007 and 1999 NYFA Fellowship, the1999 Joan Mitchell Award, the 2003 Lambent Fund Fellowship and the 2004 Lillian Elliot Award.

only in german

Peter Dudek and Elana Herzog