Untitled Installation 1982

Michael Olijnyk
Factory Installed: 1982
wood, glass, bricks, rope, audio equipment

Vertical glass plates 2 8242 x 3 8242 pressed between ascending stacks of unmortared bricks are held in tension by one long white cord...


Vertical glass plates, 2′ x 3′, pressed between ascending stacks of unmortared bricks, are held in tension by one long, white cord, drawn through eye rings, stretched from a wood frame to the floor to the ceiling to more glass plates which hug the wall, halfway between floor and ceiling. The rope tightly zig-zags between glass edges and pulleys mounted on the walls, before returning to the ceiling.

Disturb any element and the work will collapse.

Through a doorway in an adjoining, dimmer room, the grating noise of glass under pressure threatens from a tape player. Words in mirrored lettering warn: Caution. Beware. Careful. Danger.

Artist Statement

This work is made of recognizable materials such as concrete, wood, rope, and glass. These materials are combined into a construction that totally interconnects: any physical change would effect the entire structure. You are asked to understand this and realize that your response could alter or even destroy it. There is an element of danger.

About the Artist

Michael Olijnyk studied design, painting and sculpture at Carnegie Mellon University before becoming Curator of the Mattress Factory in 1978. He has worked closely with more than 600 Mattress Factory artists, and he is responsible for implementing the Museum’s artistic residency program. In 2008, Olijnyk was appointed Co-Director, sharing leadership with Barbara Luderowski. After the passing of Barbara Luderowski in 2018, Olijnyk led the Museum as Executive Director.

Olijnyk serves as an active leader in the arts community, participating in symposia for organizations such as Rice University, Chautauqua Institution and the International Sculpture Conference. He served as a Juror for National Endowment for the Arts and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.