Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
November 21, 2008
From journal Culture and Lights in Pittsburgh
August 18, 2006
From journal Summer in Pittsburgh
, West Virginia
February 17, 2005
Even with a map we had trouble finding the brick structure, the former Stearns and
Foster Warehouse on narrow Sampsonia Way. We found the corner of two streets where our map indicated the building should be, but we had to park the car and walk around, stop pedestrians, and ask questions before we found the facility, which was not well marked.
Before we went inside, we visited the rock garden designed by Winifred Lutz. It is sometimes an entertainment venue. Inside, only permanent installations were viewable because the temporary ones were being replaced. (I guess a facility for installation art has its seasons, so one might call ahead to see how many installations are accessible before committing to a visit.) Six permanent indoor exhibits were on display, and we were charged only half price.
Most rooms are very dark, and exhibits utilize light to make a statement. Danae, by American James Turrell, uses ultraviolet to saturate an inner room with light. That room has a large rectangular hole in the wall adjoining the entry room. Upon first entering, we thought the violet rectangle was a movie screen, but as we approached the opposite wall, we realized the screen was an optical illusion we could lean our heads through. The theme of "art as deception" was obvious.
Only one permanent exhibit in the building has enough light for photographs. Infinity Dots Mirrored Room, by Japanese Yayoi Kusama, focuses on the obliteration of the self and forces the viewer to become part of the work. I’m not sure how I obliterated myself from this photo!
A new installation, Artists in Residence: Cuba, is showing until April 24, 2005.
It is offered in conjunction with the Cuban Film Festival and lecture series at local theaters, presented by the Pittsburgh Filmmakers and the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. For schedules, look here.
The Mattress Factory is one of only a few installation facilities in the world. I’m not sure
I’m sophisticated enough to appreciate it, but for those who are, it’s another Pittsburgh novelty and cross-cultural magnet. I saw only one Japanese "scene"—polka dots and mirrors!—to confirm my notions about this medium in 3-D. However, I saw more Western "cerebral" art. And I still think the Japanese are better at creating scenes.
From journal Pittsburgh's Museums: Firsts and Foremosts