University Galleries is pleased to present Johnston Foster: Seasons in the Abyss. This exhibition consists of six large-scale sculptural installations, each of which is fabricated out of discarded materials such as Venetian blinds, Astroturf, bicycle and auto tires, tent poles, traffic cones, and foam. These materials are combined and fastened together in purposefully slapdash fashion, but the artist's playful approach belies a mordant take on unbridled consumerism, the insatiable quest for power, and other pitfalls of post-industrial excess.
In the titular sculpture Seasons in the Abyss— a colossal tree form covered with green carpet scraps—the crafting of specific "ornaments" is as slyly deceptive as the dark humor Foster's art engenders. From a distance a microscope, ashtray, or animal trap might be mistaken for an actual commercial product; a closer look reveals that every object is handcrafted by the artist. Model car tires stand in for instrument knobs, the cigarette butts are hollow paper, even the trap blade is hand cut out of scrap iron.