Department of Art and Art Professions

BFA Project Space

Dennis Witkin: Salvage Operation

July 17th - August 4th

In 1967, the first cultured marble was sold. Named “Solid Surface” and marketed under the lines “Corian” and “LivingStone” by DuPont, it was produced by combining marble dust and acrylic resin with powdered bauxite fillers. Inorganic pigments were added to mimic the mineral impurities that give rise to color, streaks and veins. The mixture was then compression molded and chemically cured at 60°C, before being cut into its necessary final shape. This method allowed for the condensation and customization of a natural activity that previously took the metamorphic power of the earth and over a millennia to complete. 

In a new series of works, Dennis Witkin explores the potential folding in, breaking down and reconstruction of identity by means of the mass consumer who is at once both customer and “designer.” Through the conflation of user-generated on demand products, and the martial process of reclaiming discarded material (be it ally or enemy) for reuse, repair and refabrication, a set of custom collapses resultEnergy, hygiene, banking, food, and transport insignia amalgamate with the rubble and artifacts of the physical and culturally ephemeral to form both tapestry and mood board. You look into the side of a large mountain and don’t see yourself, you see a calling. The excavation of romance—of Brand Potential. Just as the merging of earth’s tectonic plates generate heat, friction and pressure that push limestone deposits to the point of re-crystallization, a new trademark, one that is together personal and preset, solidifies. Double-check the resolution, then confirm your order.