Andrew Ohanesian at Pierogi

Exhibition Dates: 4–29 September, 2019
Closing Reception:
Wednesday, 4 September. 6-8pm

Press Release

Pierogi is pleased to present 5ksfwd, our second solo exhibition of Andrew Ohanesian’s work. Cleaving the frontage and exhibition space from the gallery site, 5kSfWD inserts itself as a sheep in wolf’s clothing into the roiling “slash n’ churn” hierarchy of the commercial real estate market of the surrounding neighborhood and mirrored across the larger New York City metro area. Frozen in partial subdivision, the vacant space is ambiguous—cultural loss for some, a great space with prime real estate potential for others, and for even more, completely unnoticed. One more vacant storefront in the vast cultural Damnatio Memoriae occurring around the globe. The banality of 5kSfWD’s masquerade in the language of commercial real estate illuminates the prevalence and pervasiveness of the city’s largest tenant: vacancy.

In displacement, the precarious position of the brick and mortar site is patched and mudded over, the writing on the wall extolling only the salient commercial attributes and myriad potential uses, obfuscating the husk of its former incarnation; a ghost of Christmas future unaware the cost of its creation.

5kSfWD pulls from much of Ohanesian’s previous work using the non-verbal, universal language of architecture to communicate with the viewer before they realize they are having a conversation with the work. Using objects and imagery so culturally ubiquitous and mundane that the viewer does not initially recognize them as art and, upon such revelation, their view of those objects is forever changed. His 2014 “Sidewalk Shed” shrouded the facade of Pierogi’s Williamsburg, Brooklyn building with the same miles and miles of scaffolding covering the city (and was sited by Jerry Saltz as one of the best shows of 2014, Vulture). A “Work in Progress: Residential” signage blended into the background, yet jarringly forebode what would come next (hint: condos). Ohanesian relishes the specific aesthetic language of these phenomena producing collateral and something that is then commercialized for a commodity that doesn’t exist, but in absentia reveals a truth about those that do, or are about to.

Andrew Ohanesian was born in 1980 in Laguna Beach, CA and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Blurring the boundaries between sculpture, relational aesthetics, and institutional critique, his work places agency on the audience for context and activation. His sculpture and site-specific installations

have been exhibited widely throughout the US and have been critically reviewed in Artnews, the NY Observer, Time Out New York, Hyperallergic, and ARTINFO. He received his BFA from the University of California.