Dennis Maher at Black and White Gallery / Project Space

“In his first New York solo exhibition, Buffalo-based artist and architect Dennis Maher explores un-building and re-building as a transition; a movement from one position to another, a relationship.”

Based on that press release description, it shouldn’t be too big of a leap to see why I responded to Maher’s work on a thematic level. If only I could just flatten everything I own into patterns and re-arrange until beautiful! Sounds much better than shoving dressers and searching for a Phillips head screw driver only to lock myself out of my apartment for 5 hours on Saturday…but that’s another story.

More to the point, while locked out I had a chance to see some of the neighborhood galleries I missed the night before. Lucky me, because I came upon Dennis Maher’s work at Black and White Gallery /  Project Space. Inside the gallery is a room of large prints that seem more concerned with evocative pattern-making than than depiction. Composed of digital photographs of the contents of rooms re-arranged in square patterns, they felt like (an attractive) Frankenstein of a home.

This one above, not surprisingly, is titled Kitchen Floor, broom included.

All the prints interact nicely with the installation behind the gallery (pictured top). It shares the concern with textures and colors and relational positioning. The agglomeration of elements seems suited to the debris of the neighborhood’s streets as well as the work inside. Sometimes home does seem like a tenuous burden of re-shifting things that only gradually take on the full significance of “home.” Or at least that’s how I interpreted it.

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