A 2012–13 artist-in-residence at the Albright-Knox and current professor of architecture at the University at Buffalo, Dennis Maher lives in a formerly condemned property that he made into his home, studio, and workshop. By continually renovating his “Fargo House,” Maher also transformed it into a work of art that explores the connections between art and architecture, creation and destruction, and individual and collaborative work. Literally a blue-colored print, this “blueprint” of the building was created by digitally combining photographs and drawings of its structure and contents, resulting in a hallucinatory layering of fractured forms, textured surfaces, and artistic mediums. Maher then framed a print of this “house mirage,” as he calls it, in a custom wooden structure that loosely resembles a window or door. Simultaneously an image of a building, a byproduct of Maher’s recycling of architectural forms, and a piece of architecture itself, the final object challenges us to rethink how architects translate two-dimensional drawings into buildings, and how artists translate buildings into two-dimensional art. In 2016, Maher and the Albright-Knox’s Innovation Lab cofounded The Society for the Advancement of Construction-Related Arts (SACRA), which offers hands-on training in the skills necessary to preserve and continue Buffalo’s proud architectural heritage.
Label from Window to Wall: Art from Architecture, November 18, 2017–March 18, 2018