David Opdyke observed firsthand a moment cracks appeared in the edifice of progress. Growing up in Schenectady, New York in the ’70s, he saw the city once home to Thomas Edison’s Machine Works, G.E., and ALCO decline into a state of abandonment, returning in bits and pieces to nature.
Opdyke’s models of bizarre, abandoned structures embody uncertainty about the sustainability of current ways of life, while also calling to mind desolate suburban Superfund sites or futuristic Soviet monuments succumbing to the elements. In one sculpture, bits of waste disposal infrastructure curl into flowering plants. It’s not preachy agitprop—the meticulously rendered pieces exhibit an uneasy but unflinching fascination with the world we have wrought.
David Opdyke: Accumulated Afterthoughts opens April 19 at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, NYC.