Thomas Glassford's sculptural installation creates a neon, modernist jungle.
At the Moore College of Art & Design, I entered a gallery in flux. There, installationist Thomas Glassford’s exhibition, Afterglow, was being assembled. Neon–green Plexiglas tropical leaves hung off golden aluminum rods. They were laid out on the gallery floor, still in half–opened boxes. From its partially installed state, I was able to discern that the final product would resemble an industrial–garden–jungle–gym of sorts, allowing the onlooker to not only observe the installation from afar, but also to stroll through the structure, immersing himself in a glowing futuristic jungle. Walking through the constructed environment offered the comfort of a serene forest, punctuated by the aggressive verticality of the aluminum rods. Glassford has created a world in which the organic is only an artificial atmosphere, in which nature has been replaced by industrial materials. Such hybridization of nature and industry is the staple theme of Glassford’s work and is a notion he makes particularly tangible in Afterglow’s experiential nature.
Through denseness of the fauna, the nature of Mexico City, Glassford’s hometown, assumes a role in this exhibition, visible in the concrete stands that hold the golden aluminum rods. Glassford previously exhibited Afterglow at the Museo Experimental El Eco, making this the first U.S. debut of the modern minimalist sculptural installation. The exhibition will remain at the Moore College of Art & Design from January 26 to March 16. Be sure to check out the Artist Q & A tonight, January 24th, at 6 p.m. for first–hand insight into the installation (and perhaps some free wine and cheese?).