MW | whitehot contemporary art magazine
Andrew Erdos and John Drue S. Worrell: Working on a spinning rock
11 Newel Gallery
Until February 20, 2022
By WMFebruary 2022
Andrew Erdos and John Drue S. Worrell’s duo exhibition “Work On a Spinning Rock” ends February 20. Juxtaposed in the space of 11 Newel Gallery, their respective works represent two distinct trends in contemporary sculpture.
Erdos, a Brooklyn-based artist trained in traditional glassblowing, lets the process define his sculptural work. His work is inspired by his many observations of geological formations while seeking a metaphorical harmony between nature and the modern world.
In Erdos’ words, he lets the process define the sculpture. This is best seen in his cast aluminum pieces “Aluminum Slabs” and “Small Dinosaur”, where liquefied aluminum is poured onto glass. The end result is an organic piece that showcases the power and beauty of the process.
Erdos also uses more traditional glass blowing techniques to create shaped and structured pieces. These are exemplified in his Moon Jars, an interpretation of a traditional form of pottery in various cultures around the world. However, unlike porcelain classics, Erdos’ jars are a striking palette of gray and black as he uses volcanic sand to create his take on the art form.
Perhaps the most striking of his Moon Jar series are a pair of round, colorful animals with clear inspiration from Jeff Koons. “Gold Animals with Silver Legs” and “Frosted Silver Animal” highlight Erdos’ glass skills and affinity for rare earth metals. They are a whimsical addition to the space.
By contrast, the works of John Drue S. Worrell combine a warm blend of comic book reference and rural culture. A dark, comedic nihilism drawn from cartoon violence seeps into his work, often portraying popular characters such as in “Letter Opener (BURNS)” and “Rug.” With these pieces, Worrell sought to extend surrealist qualities and regurgitate their meaning into a formal context of sculpture and painting. He also draws inspiration from his early childhood and life in Indiana, including farm equipment, as in “Satellite Harvest”, weather vanes, and local animals like roosters and ibexes.
In the main hall of space, Worrell adopts the formidable silhouette of the Indominus Rex from the Jurassic Park franchise. Hollywood’s “indomitable king” has been transformed into a hand-drawn weather vane. In what would traditionally be a rooster’s stance, the bellowing dinosaur has been tamed, with a small rooster atop it.
Another striking piece is his take on the big bad wolf in the same room. Rather than a snarling, anthropomorphized lupine, Worrell’s wolf is a cast iron skull of the animal with a red string running through its mouth. The rope acts like a U around the animal’s muzzle, with a white boot at each end.
However, it is Worrell’s commentary on social class in the main piece that sticks with the viewer. Three massive heads of The Simpsons villain Mr. Burns rest on heavy rusty doors on the floor. The decapitated heads are brightly colored, with spots and blotches of green, purple, and gray. They are each impaled on a matching letter opener in the same color as the speckles. The three heads feature a stabbed eye with a wooden rod.
Worrell’s work, like that of Erdos, is something that quickly captures the eye of the beholder. The works of the two artists complement and oppose each other in space. WM