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Our Mission

The Mattress Factory is an artist-centered museum, international residency program and renowned producer and presenter of installation art. We say “yes” to artists, offering time and space to dream and realize projects in our hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. We invite audiences from around the world and around the corner to step inside, immerse and connect with the artistic process.

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Allan Wexler

Bed sitting Rooms for an Artist in Residence


The Mattress Factory acquired a rundown row-house near its original building and commissioned me to design a living space for its Artists-in-Residence program.

This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

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Two rooms are connected by a flexible, functional installation where visiting artists live while they work on their own installations in other spaces.

The space is delineated by color - grey carpet, pale blue on walls, doors, and into the hall. The opening in the wall between the two rooms through which everything shared can pass - light bulbs, beds, and armrests - is painted bright red.

The two single beds roll through the wall for sleeping or sitting. They can be positioned to make sofas, a king-sized bed, or separate beds in each room. Back cushions reverse to headboards.

Bed Sitting Rooms for an Artists in Residence is a permanent installation.

Artist Statement

The Mattress Factory acquired a rundown row house near its original building and commissioned me to design a living space for its Artists-in-Residence program. The space consisted of two rooms that might need to function in a variety of ways:

  • for one occupant who wants a sitting area in one room and a single bed in the other
  • for a couple who want a sitting area in one room and a double bed in the other room
  • for two people who each want privacy with a single bed and/or a sofa in each room
  • for a person who wants an empty room for working and a bedroom

I superimposed a 13' 8" x 19' x 8' volume into the middle of the two-room space, the center wall dividing this new "room" in half. Everything within this volume was treated as new constructions, with blue walls and grey carpet. The areas outside of this "room" were left as is and completely covered with white paint.

The wall dividing "my room" has a series of openings through which the furniture components can partially or fully pass.

  • Two mattresses roll through on wheels.
  • Tow light bulbs rotate through the wall and can be used in either space.
  • The sofa back (cushion)/night table swivels around and locks into place when needed to complete a bed or sofa.
  • The sofa arms slide through to complete the sofa.

These transformations are decided upon by the occupant, completed in seconds, and so can be redesigned many times a day.

The fabric used is grey flannel, ambiguous as a sofa covering or a bedspread. The interior of the cuts in the wall is emphasized with red paint.


Permanent Installation
About The Artist

Allan Wexler (American, b. 1949), a self-described "artist in an architect's body," was an early member of the late 1960s "non-architects" or "paper architects," who questioned the perceived divide between art and the design discipline. Wexler has worked in the fields of architecture, design, and fine art for forty-five years. He has been represented by the Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York City since 1984 and has exhibited, taught, and lectured nationally and internationally since 1972. Wexler currently teaches at Parsons School of Design in New York City. He is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome, winner of a Chrysler Award for Design Innovation, and the Henry J. Leir Prize from the Jewish Museum in New York. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2016.

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