Those We Leave Behind: Ryan Foerster’s Sculptures of Wasted Ducts at Abrons Arts Center
“Ill feel sad that after all these years were inside using these giant metal forms to bring us air at different temperatures to keep us comforatbel. I hate comfort its to easy.” expresses Ryan Foerster in his typo-laden letter accompanying his modest scale exhibition at the Abrons Arts Center of Lower East Side. Entitled Underwrought An De Re, the exhibition, on view at the center’s Project Space in the lobby, introduces Foerster’s sculptural assemblages made out of discarded air ducts alongside a group of c-print photographs.
The idea of utilizing air ducts for sculpture struck the Brooklyn-based artist as he was installing his last solo exhibition at C L E A R I N G. While the subject exhibition had included various used and found materials, Foerster—who started his career with exhibitions organized in his apartment showing found-material sculptures—was intrigued by the scraps of duct left by workers installing heat at the gallery. Although the heat failed to arrive due to technical problems during his exhibition, disposed ducts led the artist to create these works on view through October 23rd.
Foerster, whose early works included expired or discarded films he collected from the Camera Club of New York’s dark room, is no stranger to debris. His sculptural or photographic assemblages of waste piled around street corners, artist studios or galleries convey narratives from their past stages within aesthetically compelling dispositions. Their somehow futuristic postures contradict what they’re meant for and the past they belong to. No longer needed or considered functional, waste manifests a type of melancholy that is conveniently ignorable. “I was sick of waste and all this excess shit that was here.” adds Foerster in the same letter. Curved, bent, and unconventionally aestheticized, these aluminum sculptures, some of which are accentuated by oozing wax, move beyond sculpture to deliver commentary on consumerism, environmental debate (one of the photographs on view documents Climate March amidst Times Square, while others trace the artist’s backyard in his Brighton Beach residence), and excess daily life generates.
Ryan Foerster: Underwrought An De Re will remain on view at the Abrons Arts Center until October 26, 2016.