Dennis Maher, A Second Home. Courtesy of the Mattress Factory.

Mattress Factory
Long-term exhibition
Various times

Room-sized installation art will take on new meaning—to occupy an entire city house—when the Mattress Factory unveils its latest long-term exhibition this Friday.

Courtesy of Mattress Factory.
Courtesy of Mattress Factory.

Don’t miss the opening reception for A Second Home, an immersive installation created by the award-winning, Buffalo-based artist and architect Dennis Maher. Free and open to all ages, the opening event takes place on Friday, August 12 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Filling all three floors of the museum’s galleries at 516 Sampsonia Way—a late-19th-century row house in the historic Mexican War Streets—Maher’s work resembles a larger-than-life, 3D collage containing artifacts and personal effects, such as furniture, toys, books, doll houses, antiques, and models. A variety of architectural remnants and salvaged materials are also in the mix—such as columns, ladders, arches, staircases, steel cages, and exposed brick. Adding a somewhat more modern aspect to the 2,000-square-foot multimedia installation are video monitors, projections and audio devices.

Evocative of abandoned, post-industrial landscapes,  archaeological digs—and even your own cluttered attic—the complex work draws the viewer into its many layers of materials, surfaces and contexts.

For the past 12 years, Maher’s creative practice has focused on using drawing, photography, collage and construction to explore processes of disassembly and reconstitution.

Clinical Assistant Professor at University of Buffalo-SUNY’s Department of Architecture, Maher has exhibited work around the world, from Brooklyn to Spain to Los Angeles. In 2009, he established the live/work space, FARGO HOUSE, which serves as a “center for the urban imaginary” in Buffalo. An emerging leader with Buffalo’s John R. Oishei Foundation, Maher’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Architectural Review, Smart City Radio and more.

Looking for more events? Read our 10 Pittsburgh events not to miss in AugustEverything you need to know about Pittsburgh concerts in August and Top 10 things for families to do in August in Pittsburgh feature stories.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.