David Opdyke: The Future Ain't What It Used To Be

April 25 - May 31, 2014



Magnan Metz Gallery is pleased to present its premiering exhibition for David Opdyke.  The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be continues Opdyke’s exploration of globalization, consumerism, and civilization's waste.  The exhibition will be on view from April 25 – May 31, 2014 with an artist reception on April 24th, 6-8pm. 


In 1977, Opdyke was a third grader growing up in post-industrial Schenectady, New York when Voyager 1 was launched. Its contents included a gold record with a message from President Carter, an 8-Track Player, and an unprecedented amount of computer processing power. For Americans everywhere the prospect of communicating with distant worlds, owning flying cars and robot maids, and the inexorable promise of a better future seemed less like fiction and more like reality. 


In August 2012, NASA's Voyager 1 became the first human-made object to reach interstellar space, accomplishing the farthest reaches of the original mission. 


The Future Ain't What It Used to Be is Opdyke's visual recitation of the 37 years that have passed since the Voyager launch.  Imploring us to ask: Weren't we supposed to be living like the Jetsons by now? Has the anticlimactic down pour of i-Phones and 140 characters made mankind more advanced? According to Opdyke, it depends on who you ask, and through his work he begins to unravel a once promised future.


Upon entering the gallery, viewers encounter a fallen 25-foot wooden utility pole with preternatural growths and spindles so defiantly resistant they have begun to reclaim it.  The Great Wave, an ominous 18 foot Tsunami ink drawing on rice paper, floats on the nearby wall.  Closer inspection reveals waves composed of hundreds of firearms, the overwhelming number of weapons perhaps alluding to society’s great issue with gun control.


On the other side of the wall is Homestead, an eye level sculpture of an abandoned and unfinished luxury high-rise that portends mankind's continued quest to build, but also an ad-hoc shelter presumably for the marginalized. Monument to 3:19 am is an arrangement of street lamps and yield signs now immersed within nature, growing like wildflowers. The exhibition also includes works on paper with Opdyke's archetypal arrangements of our ever adapting world such as Cross Connectivity Study in which accumulated piles of discarded cables and devices have become nesting materials for scavenging birds.


The Future Ain't What It Used To Be places viewers into Opdyke's iconic scenarios that channel complex forces and ideas, leaving us precariously perched on the tipping point between coherence and chaos. The result is a realization that the total control the future promised may never come to fruition, but perhaps, that's not so bad after all.

Born (1969), in Schenectady, NY David Opdyke graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in painting and sculpture.  He has created large scale installations at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the North Dakota Museum of Art, the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover MA, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. and a Brooklyn Public School commissioned by Percent For Art. He was awarded the Aldrich Emerging Artist Award Exhibition, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut (2004), and American Paradigms, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. (2004). He has also participated in exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, P.S.1, Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, and in venues in Chicago, Zagreb, Lille, and Milan. Opdyke's work is in many permanent collections including the Museum of Modern Art, Deutsche Bank, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Cleveland Clinic, Progressive Insurance, and the Washington, D.C. Convention Center Authority. The artists lives and works in New York City.