March 30 – May 15, 2024

Roll Up Project is pleased to present two wall installations by Mari Andrews. For the past 20 years, Andrews has created sculptures made with wire, various metals, paper, and found and gathered materials. Though strong individually, they truly shine when installed as groups, playing off each other in unexpected ways to form improvisational conversations.

Eight sculptures comprise the installation in the Harrison Street window. The works made with steel wire, such as Mirror 4 (2020) and Descending 2 (2018), feel like three-dimensional drawings. Indeed, Andrews often begins with a series of iterative sketches, drawing and adjusting compositions until she reaches the final form. Then she sculpts the shape in wire, sometimes twisting and bending, other times soldering to create crisp-edged structures.

Andrews’ work can be viewed as a flexible form of language – symbols that could be collectively understood and intuited, or left open to interpretation. Drawings are pared down to their most essential forms – lines, dots, curves, and angles – and yet are still legible to a wide range of viewers. Some icons are easy to recognize as natural forms, such as the fern leaf shape in Unfolding (2020). Others represent more abstract concepts like time, music, and ephemerality. Using natural materials like stones, acorns, seed pods, and leaves in tandem with wire and metal, Andrews has developed a vocabulary that feels both modern and timeless.

Time and navigation play an ongoing role in Andrews’ work. She researched sundials, compasses, and other objects used for the charting of space and time from cultures around the world. She has created sculptures that look like sundials and compasses, but the concept of time is also represented in works like Syncopation and Silence (2015), on view in the windows on Third Street, which could be interpreted as time broken into rhythmic segments.

The overall effect of Mari Andrews’ installations is one of joy and curiosity, and reverence for the world in which we live. Andrews pares down our complex and crowded environment into its most elemental beauty. River rocks, burnished and smooth from decades under water, are treated as gems in sculptures like Stone Grid (2020). In Collar 4 (2020), lichen is gently gripped in the clutches of an octagonal lead plate. These studies of materiality and form are reminders to closely observe every aspect of an object, from color to texture to shape, and to observe how each aspect may change over time.


About the Artist

Mari Andrews is a sculptor and installation artist based in Emeryville, California. She earned a BFA from the University of Dayton, Ohio and an MFA from the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. She is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship and a City of Emeryville Purchase Prize, and has been an artist-in-residence at the Lucid Art Foundation, Djerassi, and the Cold Press. Her work is in the collections of the San Jose Museum of Art, the de Saisset Museum of Art, and the de Young Museum, among others.

Learn more about Mari Andrews’ work at or on Instagram at @Andrews.mari.


Mirror 4, 2020
37 x 28 x 1/4 inches
photo courtesy of artist
Gold Slice, 2022
lead, gold, wood
8 1/4 x 8 1/2 x 1/2 inches
Unfolding, 2020
lead, steel
17 x 8 x 1/4 inches
photo courtesy of artist
Halo, 2020
steel, stone
15 x 14 x 1/2 inches
Refrain, 2019
steel tape measure, mica, paper
5 1/2 x 18 1/4 x 1/4 inches
photo courtesy of artist
Red Top, 2020
steel, lead, copper
10 x 9 x 1/4 inches
photo courtesy of artist
Descending 2, 2018
14 1/4 x 17 1/2 x 2 inches
Eight-ish 2, 2015
25 1/2 x 9 x 1/2 inches


Collar 4, 2020
lead, lichen
10 1/4 x 10 3/4 x 1 inches
photo courtesy of artist
Stone Grid, 2020
steel, stone
25 x 13 x 4 inches
photo courtesy of artist
Little Eight-ish, 2018
12 x 6 1/2 x 2 inches
Germ, 2012
steel, silicone
16 1/2 x 12 x 2 inches
Syncopation and Silence, 2015
29 1/2 x 26 1/2 x 1/4 inches
photo courtesy of artist
Dewdrop Oblong, 2019
steel, lead
18 x 3 1/2 x 1/4 inches
photo courtesy of artist