Image: Dennis Maher, End Wall, recycled construction debris /  ©Dennis Maher  

Image: Dennis Maher, End Wall, recycled construction debris / ©Dennis Maher  


Black & White Gallery / Project Space, Brooklyn, NY presents new work by Dennis Maher in a solo exhibition consisting of the site-specific installation created during his artist-in-residency at the Black & White Project Space in the summer of 2010 and a series of constructed photographic images created in response to the installation.

END WALL / project space
Maher has transformed the rear outdoor project space into one of his amalgams of urban refuse revealing the anatomy of all sorts of demolitions: both fictional and real. This is an investigation of the afterlives of the neglected and the discarded, disclosing lost and found itineraries, heaped and piled trajectories, aggregate structural possibilities, and systems of organized disuse. Collected debris becomes the site for an archaeology of the post-consumed, and the foundations of wasted architectures, salvaged and restored.

Recent photographic works create a connection linking the interior of the gallery to the outdoor project space. Maher focuses his lens on separate bizarre yet mesmerizing details of the installation. This is an exploration of unexpected connections between stored and recycled, stacking and progressing in scale, position, and tone – assemblages of planks, chairs, tables and boxes reveal cycles of incorporation and adaptation to the changing status of the commodity and point at a horizon beyond this endless repetition. 

Dennis Maher has been exploring critical approaches to demolition, renovation, and restoration since 2003. His work has involved the harvesting of discarded building materials from sites of demolition, and the construction of aggregate environments of urban waste. Upon completing architecture studies at Cornell University, Maher pursued independent projects in Barcelona, Spain and Pátzcuaro, Mexico before embarking upon the post-industrial frontier of Buffalo, NY in 2002. While earning a living in the construction and demolition industries, he began assembling material within spaces undergoing renovation, presenting his work in a variety of the city’s forlorn structures. In addition to receiving the Black & White Project Space Prize for 2010, Maher is the recipient of a MacDowell Colony Fellowship for 2008 and a NYSCA Independent Projects Grant for 2010. He has taught in the Department of Architecture at SUNY, University at Buffalo since 2004. His work has been featured in Architect Magazine, on the national radio program Smart City Radio, and on PBS television’s Going Green series. Published writings by Maher include Towards Un-building, in 306090 Sustain and Develop, and The Nightworks in Unplanned, Research and Experiments at the Urban Scale.

This exhibition is supported in part with funds from the Strategic Opportunity Stipends Program through New York Foundation for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts.