“Not for the peak, but for the mountain” (2020) rises 12 feet up and stretches 12 feet across—an artwork both fragile and powerful, of the Earth and not. The sculpture, commissioned by The Chimney, is Brooklyn-based artist Andrew Erdos‘ largest work to date and anchors his second solo exhibition with the gallery. Erdos nods to geothermal energy with the artificial monolith and the transformation of natural materials with the passing of time. It also glows in the dark.
To build the sculpture (and others like it) requires the very physical process of transporting molten glass, at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, with a roughly 50-pound utensil. Thousands of trips from the burner to the work-in-progress take place over four months. Erdos pours atop a reclaimed wood palette and two-part sub-structure of a steel armature wrapped in galvanized steel mesh. The artist conceals two water-filled metal tanks within the piece, too—in order to balance out and build tension with the associations of fire.
“In the glassmaking process, the difference between a piece cracking or melting can be a few seconds,” Erdos says. “When glass is in its molten state, it acts similarly to a living organism. It produces heat, moves and radiates light. As it cools down, it cracks and dies. The glass can then melt again and reincarnate into its next form.”
Hundreds of layers, fragments, and crystalline protrusions settle into the final piece. Above it all, spotlights give it life and hark back to its glowing process. Altogether, it’s a metaphoric landscape built by human hands and although it stands still, it implies movement and expectation in every fissure.
The exhibition premiered as part of the Museum of Art and Design‘s artist Zoom series and will be visible online—and by-appointment at the gallery—through 28 June.
Hero image of Andrew Erdos’ installation “Not for the peak, but for the mountain” (2020), courtesy of the artist and The Chimney. Photography by Reggie Shiobara.