According to the Environmental Protection Agency website, Americans generate 250 million tons of trash a year - the equivalent of 4.43 pounds person per day. (Source: http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/municipal/) Of that 250 million tons, 85 million tons are recycled.
The University of Arizona Museum of Art features two artists, whose works react to and comment on these astounding statistics and the American perchance to consumerism. The artists use different approaches to get viewers to stop and think about their everyday actions. Matt Eskuche’s medium of choice is glass, while Matthais Düwel’s vehicle of commentary is painting.
Matt Eskuche comments by recreating mass-produced soda bottles, fast food packaging and other “trash,”using flameworked glass. Playing off the original psychology and desirability of package design, Eskuche’s painstaking glass reconstructions challenge the viewer to reconsider consumption. Featured in the exhibition is Eskuche’s installation, Agristocracy, an experience that the ThirdCoast Digest called “Mind Shattering.” The installation was made possible through grants from the Arizona Glass Alliance and the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass.
the trash glass i've been making for the past few years is culled from several of my sensibilities. by creating these objects of mass production by hand, using craft and art traditions, i express a futility in the end product... "why would someone spend all that time making the same trash that you could just pick up in the street?"
some of my interest lies with taking a realistic look at the products we consume and how that effects economies, environments, and land and humanitarian rights.
another factor has to do with confronting planned obsolescence, ultra-convenience, and the ineffectual ways we generate and dispose of capitalism's vast wastefulness. (Source: http://matteskuche.com/home.html)
In contrast, Matthias Düwel’s paintings and works on paper explore how suburban sprawl, over-abundance and capitalistic greed lead to disaster. Düwel states: “My work has always been a direct response to my environment. When I moved in 2004 from NYC to the Tucson Area, I became acutely aware of the phenomenon of [suburban] ‘Development’” and the multitudes of repetitive houses. The move to Tucson shifted Düwel’s focus away from “the decay of urban environment to the destruction of nature.” Düwel comments on the overwhelming quantities of materials, noting that the drive to control one’s personal environment results only in an illusion of stability.
Consumer Consumption will open with a reception on January 26th at 5 pm. Join Matt Eskushe on Saturday, January 28th for a 2 pm talk about studio glass and his work. Matthias Düwel will discuss his work on April 21, at 2 pm in the UAMA galleries.
Exhibition Dates: January 26 – April 22, 2012
Opening Reception - Thursday, January 26, 2012 5 pm
1031 N Olive Rd.
PO Box 210002
About University of Arizona Museum of Art
Located on the University of Arizona campus, the UA Museum of Art (UAMA) is an institution dedicated to the highest quality visual arts experience for students, faculty and the public. The Museum’s collection of 6,000 works of art is highlighted by 60 extraordinary Old Master paintings and sculptures from the Samuel Kress Foundation. Other strengths include Old Master prints and drawings, 20th century European and American Art, Contemporary Art, Contemporary Native American and Hispanic Art, and various examples of World Art. The collections are digitized and cataloged using PastPerfect software. With a full-time staff of 8, the Museum utilizes 12,000 square feet of gallery space to present a vigorous exhibits schedule, traditional, modern and contemporary, from its collection, from other institutions, from collectors and from individual artists.