by Ian McMahon
Exhibition Period: January 28 – July 11
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MadArt Studio welcomes New York-based artist Ian McMahon as he begins a laborious and performative three-week install of his exhibition, Aperture. McMahon’s works confront and transform the physical environments they inhabit, challenging notions of fabricated space by using architectural materials to highlight the magnificence of construction. Aperture is no different.
Upon entering the space, visitors encounter a series of 15-foot-tall, billowing, white forms that traverse the length of the studio. These pillow-like structures—comprised of over 5,000 pounds of cast plaster sprayed into inflatable plastic molds—are contained by large, wooden corrals and the architecture of the studio itself. Aperture utilizes the studio’s central mezzanine to create an interior viewing corridor accessible from the north end of the space. This is the first time McMahon has given viewers visual access to his work’s interior infrastructure, exposing the residue of the fabrication process and revealing a perspective that contradicts the implied materiality of the exterior forms.
In this simultaneous presentation of its inner and outer structures, Aperture is imbued with life. One can sense the presence of the artist’s hand, adding a performative quality to the completed exhibition and an appreciation for the labor that is essential to realizing such monumental sculptures. As in architecture, McMahon’s structures are all built in situ, the physical location becoming a critical framing component of the work’s orchestrated construction. Thus, Aperture’s life span is tethered to the site it occupies, disrupting preconceived notions of art’s relationship to longevity and time.